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I have a former student named Stan*. I’ve been sharing his commentary on Facebook for 3 years. Folks think he’s funny. 🙄 In honor of his recent graduation, I’m going to start positing the stories here. Here’s our very first interaction, 3 years ago. 👇🏾
Stan: Ms. Buddington, you like your hair like that?

Me: Yes...why?

Stan: *walks around me, looking at my head*

Me: *confused*

(Exhibit A: 👇🏾 2016 Hair)
Stan: *goes into his notebook, scrawls something, rips a paper out and hands it to me, with a number on it*

Me: What is this?

*still confused*
Stan: I want you to see my barber. It's time for a shape up.
Me: What?!

Stan: See...a shape up is when you...

Me: I know what a shape up is. Sit down!

Stan: *walking back to his seat, mumbling* I'm just saying. He'll line you up right.
During winter break of that year...Stan lost his class text. It’s the second time...

Stan: Ms. Buddington, I lost my book. Can you scan and email the chapters to me?

*looks at email incredulously, this child wants me to scan thirteen chapters*
Me: No, Stan. This is the second time you've lost the book. You can ask your mom or dad to pick it up or you can see me after-school, when we get back, to make up the assignment.

Stan: Wow. Ms. Buddington, you're not married and the holiday is over. You have time.

Then there was MLK Day and the time he did the quote assignment but didn’t do the quote assignment, at the same time. 🙄👇🏾

& then there was that time a student used a word incorrectly.

Student: I need to detonate my mom.

Stan: Detonate?

Student: Yes.

Stan: I don't think you're using the word right. Ms. Buddington, what does detonate mean?
Me: To explode.

Stan: See?!

Student: Be quiet, Stan!

(It was a family tree assignment. He meant interrogate.)
Stan: I’m just trying to help YOU out.

That same student decided to argue with another teacher. Stan did not like this.

Student *storming out*: I don't care what you do! Call my mother!

Stan: We can't! You detonated her, remember?!

And then...there was this new email...when school started up again.

Marcus is also a straight-A student. Both students are incredibly competitive. He’s also the kid from the “detonate” story.

We're learning about the Roman Republic that day. Patricians are the wealthy class; plebeians are the working class.

Stan stands up mid class.
Me: Only patricians had a political voice. This meant that the plebeians, which made up of 95% of the population had no voice in the government!

Stan: Yooooooo! Yoooooo! Yooooo, Ms. Buddington...you don't see that...

*Marcus rolls eyes and sucks teeth*

Marcus & Stan:
Marcus: Ms. Buddington, Stan is about to make another analogy about history repeating itself.

Stan *pauses mid-excitement*: You know...I'm trying to make real-time connections, while you're trying to connect this line *points at Marcus’ hairline*

Whole Class:
Me: Stan. Please step outside so we can chat. *signals co-teacher*

Marcus: See? Patricians were not just wealthy, they were probably the smartest. Smart enough not to make comments like that. That's why they made the laws. My family would've been patr....

*Stan flies back in*:
Stan: We live in the same building Marcus. Your momma's a pleb! We plebs!

Or perhaps the time of the thoughtful gift....

Stan: "I saw this at Target and thought of you."

Me: Aw thank you!

Stan: Because you like cookies, not because you're super or full of wonder. Calm down.

Me: 😒
We were reading another historical fiction text when I tried to be more engaging.

Me: The character is about to go back in time. Prepare yourself. *makes awkward teacher whirring sound*

Stan: What the? You be whylin, Ms. B.....
Me: Stan. Stop. Okay, who wants to be the narrator?

Stan: Me!

Me: Um, Marcus!

Stan *under his breath*: Oh word?

Okay, Ms. Buddington.

Marcus: On July 31st, 1931...

Stan: Ms. Buddington, wasn't that when you were born?
*whole class laughs*

Me: Stan!

Stan: Sorry.
Me: Go ahead, Marcus.

Marcus: The kids were outside playing manhunt on a cold...

Me: Pause, Marcus. Do you guys know what manhunt is?

Class: Yes!

Me: When I was a kid we used to...

Stan: Didn't you guys play hunt and gather?

Me: Stan...

Stan *plays it off*: What? What did I say?

Me: Anyway, my play brothers...

Stan *interrupts*: Cain and Abel...

Or when I left class to take a parent phone call and he wrote this on my whiteboard....

These moments happened during community circle. These circles are about collectivism....I’m not sure Stan collected that.

We tried...
Me: Okay, today I'm going to let you chose the advisory roundtable question today.

Marcus: Me, me, me!

Me: Okay Marcus, go ahead.

Marcus: What is the name of a famous person in jail?

Marcus: Ms. Buddington, we're a social justice school. We can't talk about injustice too?

Me: Okkkaaaaayyy.

Dina: Nelson Mandela, but he was arrested unfairly.

Marcus: So was Bobby Schmurda!
Marcus' Friend: Yeah! They just arrest us for no reason. It's ridiculous. What evidence do they have?!

Whole Class: YEAHHHHH!!!!!

Stan: What is wrong with y'all?! He's been selling crack since like the 5th Grade.

Me: Stan.
Me: Let's move on to the reflection assignment...if you didn't do it...

Stan*through the plexiglass*: GET UP OUT MY TRAP HOUSSSSSE!!!
In February of his 7th grade year the advisory question the kids asked was, "What does Valentine's Day mean to you?"

The kids went around and said several cute things.

"Loving your friends and family."
The question got around to me and I hesitated, wanting to give the kids a good answer.

Kids: "C'mon Ms. Buddington! What does it mean to you?"

Stan decided to speak for me, "Why y'all bothering Ms. Buddington? She's a Jehovah's Witness! She doesn't celebrate holidays!"

(I’m not.)

Kids: Ohhhhhh.

Me: What?!

Stan *leans in and whispers*: I got you covered Ms. Buddington. I know you're single and independent. Don't let them judge you.

That time we were writing #nanowrimo novels. They had to create book covers on Canva, for inspiration. Stan was designing his book cover when he starts randomly asking me questions...

Stan: Ms. Buddington?
Stan: I need another word for deprived. I used that too often.

Me: Bereft.

Stan: I need another word for "disaster."

Me: Stan, use the thesaurus.

Stan: *mumbling* I don't know why we can't just use Google. Mad old and...

Stan: Shared!

Me: Stan, you're not going to use a picture?

Stan: I think it's pretty self explanatory.
During independent reading time, a few days after the 2016 presidential election...I asked Stan why he chose this book.

He told me that he needed to prepare for our forthcoming predicament.
We're checking student temperature during advisory. Students go around the circle and say how they're feeling.

Student: My pet died this weekend. We really loved him.

Class: Awwwww.
Stan: *sings: In The Arms of An Angel*

Class: STAN!!!

Stan: *stands up, flapping arms* FLY AWAY FROM HERE!!!
Stan says he's not talking to me one day. Every time I say something to him he says the same phrase.

Me: Stan to better understand theme you have to...

Stan: Hush!

Me: Stan...

Stan: Hush!

Me: I...


I’m afraid to leave my advisory alone, b/c they will HUMBLE the sub. When I broke my leg, I asked to FT in. I FT into advisory and they were in the middle of a political debate.

Marcus: I just feel like you guys are not open to his ideas. Give his ideas a chance.

Stan: Open to what?! Racism and exclusion? Do you hear yourself?

Marcus: I do. I have ears.

Marcus: You're so close-minded.

Stan *stares blankly*: And you're close-brained.

Marcus: I'm just saying. You don't know if things can work unless you try them. He should make me a part of the cabinet.

Stan: In his kitchen. As a jar. Of hot air. *walks off*
(Stan held his hand out and stated "boy" at some point and I caught a pic. I videotape/photograph some things. Send them as memories to parents years later. I just can't share most of them. 😂Marcus did it too.) 👇🏾
I told the advisory students that we'd be watching a movie one day. I already chose the movie, but they started going in once I cued up the Netflix.

"Can we watch Moana?"
"Can we watch Friday After Next?"
"Why do we have to watch something that's PG-13?"
I told them to stop talking over each other and I said we'd be watching the air conditioner if they didn't stop calling out.

We're watching the movie and Stan decided that he's gonna be extra.

He's been sitting at the AC for 15 minutes.

"Nah uh! Don't blow that breeze girl!"
"Stop don't go in there! It's cold!"
"Forget Marvel and D.C.! LG makes the best films."
"Looking like I caught a chill! Yeah, I'm buying the soundtrack."

I can't. #humbled
Got my weekly afterschool visit from Stan on this day. School just started. He only has me for advisory at this point.

Me: So tell me about your day...

Stan: There’s not much to tell. I was in and out of the dean’s office all day.

Me: It’s DAY TWO!
Stan: Actually, its day 233 of the actual year. I learn all year round.

Me: Okay Stan. Why were you in the dean’s office?

Stan: Because I gave the teachers advice.

Me: What kind of advice?

Stan: Well, the art teacher didn’t know what she was doing.

Me; What made you think that?

Stan: She was talking about all the compositions that we were gonna make and stuff but I couldn’t focus. She was wearing a yellow suit with a yellow shirt.

Stan: How you gonna teach me about compositions and you can’t compose yourself?

Me: Stan...

Stan: Then she gonna ask me to step outside because I said she looked like the character from The Mask.

Me: Why would you...
Stan: She started talking about making Ponce Masks...she brought it on herself.

Me: How did you end up in the office?

Stan: I tried to take the pass on my way out because I needed to use the bathroom and she said no.

Me: Well she had good reason...
Stan: For me not to pee?! Nah.

Me: Well what did she say to you when she stepped outside?

Stan: She didn’t say anything because she was too busy yelling about the pass! Talking about, “Stan, if you don’t put that pass back on the hook...we’re going to have a problem.”
Me: So what did you say back?

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