That’s Amore

“Why have I got a moustache?”. As a teaching assistant you have to be ready for any question. Zak does not do “Hello’s”, so this was the first thing he said upon arriving at school. The reason for this self-consciousness became clear all too soon. “I’m in love” he confided, although just seconds later asked “am I in love?”.

This warranted a conducting of the “Am I in love?” checklist. “Do you act all weird when you’re around her?” I asked, he smiled and nodded, “do you find it hard to say anything to her and when you do, it comes out all wrong?”, he nodded again “then you’re in lurve my friend”.

Love can make you do some strange things, and in Zak’s case it involved antagonizing enough of his class, to get excluded from school on Monday. I held off three of his classmates from giving him, what they call in the Southern States, a “whoopin“. Such was the strength required, to restrain three crazed kids baying for blood, my hands shook afterwards.

When he misbehaves, to the extent I have to remove him from class, there are three options. I can take him either to the offices of Roisin, the deputy or the headteacher. Today though, having done a tour of the school, all the options were closed. We ended up back where we’d started. Rather than lose face, I told him I’d interrupted the lesson, just so we could both get some exercise.

The afternoon saw us pent-up in the Head Teacher’s office, while she was away. I ditched the syllabus and tried to help him improve his behaviour. He started by telling me he had once murdered someone. When it’s being said by an eleven year old with the “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” book resting on his lap, its difficult to hide a smile.

Just when I thought it was safe to no longer receive awkward questions, he asked what the ‘anal fin’ on a shark was. This lead to a further examination of what a wholphin was, (a hybrid of a whale and a dolphin), and before I knew it I was in a sex education class. He hasn’t even carried her books to school yet, so instead we played football in the rain.


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