Yesterday, I spent my first morning helping the new girl in English class. I'll call her V because she might not want her real name blabbed all over blogville. We sat in a room alone, and I gave her a kind of test to see at what levels she understands the language and basic math skills.
V understands plenty and was irritated by the simplicity of the questions in the test, but I assured her it was just a formality, and she would not be spending the rest of the school year writing out her address and sentences like "He is angry" and "They are happy." She did fairly well on the math portion, and I think her errors were due to not paying attention to the instructions. Isn't that always the way?
While V took the test, I wrote out some questions for an upcoming interview, and I read the scribbling on the long table where we sat. These classes are held in the basement of a church, and we took the test in a room that is evidently used by the church's middle school Sunday school class.
Along with a bunch of drawings of crosses, the table was covered with phrases and names written scrawled with pen. Here are a few:
• Andy Rocks
• Drew is I Candy
• **#%%$ is on crack (I don't know who that is exactly because the name was scratched out)
• Sarah—and I mean Sarah everywhere in script writing, balloon writing, underlined, written in starbursts
• Beat Small Town—this church is in Small Town Next Door, which is a rival town in nearly every area of life
• Jesus Hearts Clay—I loved this one. The kid actually drew a heart. I doubt some boy named Clay wrote that message because it doesn't seem like something a boy would do. I imagine a girl wrote it, maybe while her teacher was going on about how Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz and asked to be taken in, pleading Kinsman Redeemer. And this girl who has probably heard that story a few dozen times since preschool let her mind wander to her favorite boy, Clay. And I bet she thought that if she wrote that Jesus Hearts Clay instead of writing her own name doing the hearting, maybe her slight offense would be forgiven or at least winked at.
Or maybe not. Maybe it was just written by some kid who was bored with a test that was beneath her intelligence.