I have this kid, Brandon, in my class, a very sweet boy with a bit of an attention span problem and a nervous tick. He does this thing where he will scrunch up his whole face for no real reason and without any real trigger. Some days I think I've got it pegged--it's when he is put on the spot. And then the next day, I could put him on the spot all day long and nothing will happen.
I need to pause here for a couple updates, so you can understand the entirety of the issue.
- We have been working on our musical, The Three Little Pigs, and Brandon is one of three Big Bad Wolves, meaning they share the part by saying all the same lines at the same time. Of the three, Brandon is the best. One of the kids has walked out of every rehearsal we've ever had. The other one watches Brandon the whole time and mumbles, except when he's off in the corner, twirling in circles by himself--which is a majority of the time.
- Korea is a very appearance-oriented country. Coffee shops are all designed in a way that is aesthetically appealing because the design, not the coffee, is what matters. Plastic surgery is a casual thing here, as well. Anything that you could ever want nipped or tucked has already been and can be nipped and tucked here.
On Friday, yeah two days before the musical, I find out that Brandon's parents are pulling him from it because they don't want the other parents to see. Not only does that stick us with not two, but one Big Bad Wolf who doesn't know jack-squat (the other student dropped out), but that's just not fair to Brandon.
He worked really hard. And not only is he missing an opportunity to increase his self-esteem by proudly showing what he's got, but he's also going to be confused until he figures out why he didn't get to perform. And when he understands, then that's when a few moments of his parents' embarrassment can turn to personal shame.
In my teens years, I developed scoliosis, but I never developed the self-consciousness that usually accompanies such a condition for two reasons: my mom and my dad. They never made me aware of how crooked I looked from the back or how my clothes fit weird. They noticed, to be sure, but they never made me feel like there was anything wrong with me. And because of them, there wasn't. I had this abnormally healthy and un-adolescent perspective solely because I wasn't aware. I was lucky.