Sunday, March 22, 2009
i am beau
Beau approaches me after school at the end of the first grading term of our senior year of high school with a peculiar grin.
He hands me his report card and shares, “Mr. Sylvester gave me an ‘A’ in Art.”
I counter, “So, it’s Art.”
“Yeah but I don’t do anything. I never turn in my work, except for a couple sheets of paper with random stuff scribbled on it,” he says. “The only person I talk to is Bobby. And most of the time I just lay down my head and sleep.”
Bobby was a kid who lived in our neighborhood and reported to the special classrooms for most of his day. Outside of being nice to Bobby and saying hi each day, Beau didn’t like people and didn’t talk to who he didn’t like.
Beau proceeds to explain that some of the kids from the special classes who have been integrated into traditional elective classes have been placed in his art class.
So now I’m starting to put it together. He sleeps a lot in class. The only art he has turned in, are scribbles. He doesn’t talk to anyone except to one of the special integrated students.
As I’m processing the data, he smiles again and proclaims, “Mr. Sylvester thinks I’m retarded. He gives me an A and don’t have to do anything. This is awesome.”
I never experienced someone being so proud, so excited about being incorrectly labeled as mentally retarded. But then there’s Beau.
Beau milks this error in judgment for the next two grading terms, receiving an ‘A’ for each. The fourth quarter rolls around and Beau approaches me, with disappointment, and report card in hand.
“So how’d you do?” I ask.
“Mr. Sylvester gave me a ‘C’ in Art.” He explains, “I realized James Ellison wasn’t so bad and he brought Magic cards to school so I started playing with him. Sylvester saw me playing Magic in class and figured out I not retarded.”