A few more snippets from Nate’s tenth grade English journal.
“There were many rude videos on YouTube, a website with many cool videos. When I’m at school, I won’t talk about anything rude, because I’ll be in big trouble.”
YouTube, founded in early 2005, changed Nate’s behavior in the stereotypical “kids are influenced by what they watch.” From the moment Nate discovered the site, he picked up a plethora of curse words which he employs with abandon. Hysterically so, as he often doesn’t get them quite right. He’ll say things like “quit the fuck out” and it comes across, oddly enough, as sweet rather than nasty. He obviously was spouting profanity at school, if he was already worried about getting in “big trouble.”
“On Monday, we watched a movie called Strange Brew. It’s a comedy about Bob and Doug McKenzie, who loved beer. It was really funny. The funniest part of the movie was that the dog, Hosehead, was a superhero, his cape was flapping in the breeze, and he fell off the tent of the Oktoberfest. They painted him to look like a big skunk.”
Never say we haven’t raised our kids on the classics! Nate remembers the general plot of most movies he’s seen and books he’s read. I think sometimes that he is exactly like everyone else in this regard. His lack of understanding may cause him to not get crucial plot points (not of Strange Brew in particular) but, over time he knows as much as most. Ask the average person what Of Mice and Men is about and they ‘ll probably give you a sentence or two, about the same answer as Nate.
“Lord of the Flies takes place in a deserted island. In one part, many kids yell, “KILL THE PIG, SLIT HER THROAT, BASH HER IN,” but I haven’t read that yet. I know that scene from when I watched that movie two years ago.”
I would always get the next year’s English syllabus the summer before school started and watch movies of all the coming books with Nate, to give him a visual head start on the material. Those were great times. We would hang out together and discuss the films. When we watched West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet, I made Nate a chart of the characters and story lines so he could compare. I could see him on the couch behind me, checking out his notes as he watched. When he’d read the book, he could quickly point out the differences between the movie and the text. I miss those nights.
“Yesterday, I went to math class and did my work. Ms. Weir told me to stop mumbling, but I yelled loudly and I was sent to the office. I’m not allowed to do that anywhere, except at home.”
There’s a long list of words that set off a pat reaction from Nate. If he is muttering to himself, and you tell him to stop mumbling, he’ll scream. Always. Woe to the uninitiated who innocently ask him to stop mumbling. It’s not exactly true that he’s allowed to scream and yell when he’s at home. He just does.
That’s it from 2006/07. On to 2012. We wish you all a Happy New Year.