Monday – Contact Hour 1
“Guys, none of you have your math homework done today. What’s up?”
Javier’s hooded eyes flicked slowly back and forth as he said evasively, “I couldn’t get on the assignment. Our computer’s all messed up with a virus.”
A flush crept up Kevin’s neck. “I didn’t know how to do it.”
David was frantically thumbing through the zippered binder that his mother was calling his trash can. He looked up in astonishment. “We had homework?”
Tuesday – Contact Hour 1
“Gentlemen. Let’s go over your math.”
Javier morphed into the “Godfather” - tilted head, exaggerated frown, slowly scratching his neck with the back of his fingernails. “I’m banned from the computer at my house.”
“If you’re banned from the computer, then you need to take your actual math book home.”
Javier maintained character, but stopped scratching and conceded the point to me with his index finger and a slight raise of his eyebrows.
Kevin’s breathing deepened and became labored. I wondered if his inhaler was close. “I did the first one, but then my mom said it was 10 o’clock and I had to go to bed.”
“When did you start your work?”
Kevin moaned softly. “At 6:30. Right after dinner.”
Wrinkled papers already covered David’s desk, but he continued pulling more from his binder. Papers fell to the floor. I stood watching a paper earthquake in progress. “I had it done. I swear. It was right here, but I can’t find it.”
Wednesday – Contact Hour 1
I looked wearily at my charges. “Homework?”
A slow grin began on Javier’s face, and I knew what was coming. “I . . .”
I joined him in his reponse. “. . . forgot your book.”
Kevin smiled as he handed me two neat pages stapled together. “I have mine done!”
“That’s wonderful Kevin,” I said rewarding him with a big smile. But it dropped off my face as I looked down at two pages filled with crisp, neat, adult writing.
“Did anyone help you with your work?”
“Yeah,” Kevin beamed. “My dad. He’s an engineer.”
David’s binder lay open. The bomb had detonated and papers covered the desk. He held out his empty hands and sadly shook his head back and forth.
Thursday – Contact Hour 1
“Homework!” I snapped.
Javier looked up smugly as he tapped the paper on his desk with his index finger.
I looked down at the half page of work. “You only did problems 1 to 3. The assignment was for 1 to 11.”
“We have church youth group on Wednesday night.”
Kevin’s head was down as he slowly shook his head back and forth. “Dad had to work late. Mom said she doesn’t know how to do our math.”
David pulsed side to side as he proudly held up a piece of paper and hip-hopped, “I’m good. I’m good. Oh yeah. I’m good.”
My head began nodding in time with his shoulders as I reached for his math paper. “This is your report from yesterday’s Science lab.”
I could almost hear the needle on the record scratch as David stopped dancing. “Wait. What?” He took the paper back from me and studied it. “This is my Science paper? Oh man! Did I give my math to my Science teacher yesterday?”
Friday – Contact Hour 1
I looked out at my group. “Anyone?”
Three boys sat at three desks looking back at me. Sitting neatly in the middle of each of their desks was a piece of paper filled with numbers.
I slowed walked down the row examining their work. Every assignment was complete. Javier looked up with a kind smile clearly conveying great respect for his hard working teacher. Kevin looked up with a proud smile as I noted the page filled with his own writing. David looked up with a calm smile as I looked down on his clean, neat, wrinkle-free paper.
Suddenly, the annoying buzz of my alarm going off woke me up, and I rolled over. “6:00” blinked in red. Time to get up.