I was in the student lounge on the top floor when I spotted a lad who I've had confrontations with in the past. I was certain he should be a lesson at that time so I checked on the database and found that to be the case. I decided not to challenge him until I was sure. Sometimes we get fobbed off with 'I'm feeling ill', 'I don't have to be there', 'I'm doing coursework' etc.
I went down to the ground floor and checked with the teacher.
“Yes he should be here,” she said. “And I'm pretty angry with him.”
“Would you like me to drag his sorry carcass down here?” I asked.
“Yes and tell him from me he's in for a damn good bollocking.” (Her exact words.)
I vowed to do my best, bearing in mind that this particular chap is quite a large individual, has been quite surly with me and the other supervisors and sometimes looks like he might get violent.
I found him still in the lounge sitting with his mates. I was quite prepared for him to refuse to cooperate, in which case I would have to point out he would be making things worse for himself. It also crossed my mind he might punch me.
“Mr ***, you need to come with me.”
“What's this about?”
“I'll explain on the way.”
To my surprise he followed like a lamb. As soon as we were outside the lounge I informed him.
“Your English teacher sends her regards and is very much looking forward to seeing you.”
At this point he cottoned on and began making his excuses. Apparently they were having a test. He hadn't done the work, was bound to fail and just decided not to turn up.
Then I told him the truth. “Actually, I think she's going to roast your ass.”
I suggested that it would have been better to have seen his teacher and come clean. He admitted that might have been the wiser option.
This was amazing. This was the first proper conversation I'd had with this guy and he seemed quite chatty so I decided to try and connect with him.
“So how is the photography going?” (I know this was on his timetable.)
“I've dropped it. They told me I was no good at it.”
“That's a shame.”
“Well, I didn't do any work for that either and I missed a couple of photo shoots.”
“So what are you concentrating on if not photography and not English either, going by today's evidence?”
“Nothing. I'm leaving at the end of the year. I'm going to be a barber.”
I didn't see that coming. I told him I would be sorry not to have the pleasure of his company next year. I meant that sincerely. I'm sure he could do well at college if he applied himself but maybe he'll make a success in his chosen career. He might even change his mind and stay on – just to confound me. I wished him luck and left him to face his teacher.