On a Sunny Day

“Hi Tim, my name is Sabeena and I am a Peer Mediator”. “Admitting you’re a Peer Mediator is the first step to recovery” I replied. Some jokes are wasted on 11 year olds. This was not the oddest exchange of the day though, that had happened during morning register ;

Teacher: Ulani?

Ulani: Here

Teacher: Uzuri?

Uzuri: Here

Teacher: Zak?

Zak: Dead

By the time Zak had answered ‘Chickens!’ to the question, what’s 9 times 7?, I knew it was time to take a break. He desperately needed to go all “Wonder Woman”. He span around in circles in a vacant office, while I tried to get a mantle on his odd behaviour. His explanations made as much sense as the recorder recital from Assembly.

Returning to class proved tricky after this. It felt like we were in the Nativity play as Joseph and Mary, with each teacher closing the door on us. “We’re doing group work and Zak doesn’t work well in groups“, “We’re already in the midst of something“, were some of the excuses we were given.

We ended up in the library helping the “woman with the tail”, as Zak calls her. I assumed this was a story she’d told Zak in confidence and will no doubt regret having done so. Zak asked whether I would walk him around the School in a headlock. This was, it would seem, something preferable to the lack of close contact he gets at home. Instead, I helped improved his walk. He thinks it’s ‘gangsta’, I think he looks like he’s about to shit himself.

Zak had at least made a friend, albeit the second most unpopular kid in the School. Together, they watched the most popular kids in a singing competition. It was a trip down the boulevard of broken dreams, as there could be only one winner. Tears inevitably flowed from the losers.

We kicked a ball around in the afternoon. He was Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, I was Derby County’s Shaun Barker. I’m ever the supporter of the underdog.

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