Monday, February 07, 2005


I finally got them. I got tha digits. I finally got the number of the happy home of Eddie, the perpetual skipper, Crip lover, player, and a third time freshman. I previously had three wrong numbers for Eddie; one number was the State Lottery Commission.
Eddie used to come to my class every day last semester. This was when he was dating Cassandra, who tried to keep Eddie on track. Apparently she found out that Eddie was cheating on her and their torrid love affair went down the drain. This semester Eddie has been M.I.A. On tha real. I see him in the hallway and I beg and plead and pester him to come to class. He came by one afternoon to get make-up work and took a book with him. I'm starting to wonder whether I'm going to see that book again (which I end up paying for if he loses).
Why would I want Eddie to come to class? He's totally not a behavior problem. He never talks to other students, never talks back. In fact, he's sort of charming in a "I'm a really big loser" kind of way. I feel like everyone has given up on Eddie (including Eddie) and I want him to have one person who doggedly cares about him and urges him to help himself.
But back to today. Eddie has a friend/girl-friend in my class and I think he has finally dicked over the wrong person. Today I asked her about Eddie's presence and she blurted out, "Do you want his number?" I could tell that she regretted her statement as soon as it slipped from her lips. So I played it cool.
"Eddie? Sure. I mean, I want the book back." After some manipulation she gave me the number with the promise I would not tell Eddie who gave it to me. Would I bite the hand that feeds me?

A muffled, gruff voice answered on the first ring.
I blinked and then rattled off my official phone call greeting in a cheery voice.
"I said that I'm Eddie's history teacher and I would like to speak with a guardian if that is possible."
"I'm his step-dad. What do you want?"
"Well, you see sir, I'm calling about Eddie's absences. He has a zero in my class because he refuses to come to class. He's a great kid but he can't seem to make it to school."
"Oh yeah?"---long, muffled sigh--
"Yes. He also has a textbook that I need him to return. I gave it to him about three weeks ago and I don't want him to pay 70 dollars for a lost book."
"Oh shit. No, he needs to return that book. He's got a lot of them around here." (Great. He's an obligation list nightmare).
"Yes, I know. I would hate for you to pay for that. If he brings the book back he won't pay anything."
"Oh he's bringing that fucking thing back."
"Great. Well, if you'd like to schedule a parent conference I'd be happy to talk with you. I'm really worried about Eddie--"
"Ya well, his mom aint home. And he isn't my kid so I don't know. I'll tell her you called."
"Wonderful. Thank you very much." Thanks for caring.
"You got it lady."

I also went to the 9th grade office and handed the Team Leader the slip with his name and number.
"How do you know this one is real?" she asked.
"Because I just talked to his step-dad," I bragged.
Her eyes wide, she exclaimed, "How did you get this?!"
"I think Eddie finally cheated on the wrong girl."
"Don't you love that?"

Now I know this phone number is unlikely to change Eddie's behavior. But there is a chance it will. And equally important (to me), Eddie's number symbolizes victory in my on-going battle to get in touch with parents. I mean, if I can get Eddie's number than I have hope for future numbers. Right?


Blogger Megan said...

I'm happy all that hard work paid off...well, kinda. I think it's wonderful that you're continually trying to somehow reach this kid, both on the phone and through inspiration. You've already won part of the battle, so keep going while you're ahead! I'm cheering for you!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Pigs said...

Very crafty! Kudos.

3:08 PM  

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