Today I found out that one of the dough makers at work actually knows how to write a complete sentence. I don't know why I'm so surprised, other than the fact that most of our dialogue consists of me saying things like, "I'm going to kick your ass," and him saying, "You have to catch me first." Not a lot of depth in the dough room.
Before this kid started working in the production kitchen, he repaired lawn mowers. He went to a local high school, and as far as I know, never once considered going to college. He doesn't read (not a bad thing, he's going to loan me a couple of DVDs) and doesn't seem all that interested in the world outside his line of vision. He's a really sweet guy, but just not a heavy thinker. I mean, my god, he bet a co-worker that the Browns would beat the Chiefs on Sunday--that is just plain stupidity in action. Who bets on the Browns?
Today he was talking about his "professional hobby," writing poetry, and mentioned a poem he wrote to his ex-girlfriend (he wanted to call it "Die, Bitch" but ended up changing it to "Rain"--good decision). I thought he was joking, but it turns out not--he really does write poetry in his spare time. Then he told me I could read his latest poem because it was posted online. He probably didn't think I'd actually look them up, but I did.
Okay, his poetry isn't great, full of romantic cliches, but it's better than I ever would have thought it would be. He actually used adjectives and adverbs. He can write a complete sentence. He used the word "vibrant" (correctly) and before ten minutes ago I would have confidently bet ten dollars that he didn't even know what it meant. He really and truly writes better than more than 75% of my freshman history students ever did.
Now I want to know--what were his grades like in high school? Why didn't he go to college? Did anyone encourage him to? He went to school out in the county, and I'm guessing that he's like every other first generation college student I've met here, with a family not interested in education, no support, no vision of what life could be like. It's too bad, really, because I'd really like to see what he could do in a different environment.