Today I volunteered with special needs youth doing sports, art, activities, etc. I was paired with two brothers–we’ll give them pseudonyms and call the 15-yr old Victor and the 11-yr old Carlos–and here are some of the conversations we had and some of the things they said:
1. Me: They didn’t give me a name tag. Oh well.
Victor: I’ll call you Robin. You look like a Robin.
Me: Thank you, Victor. I’m going to take that as a compliment.
2. Me: Where do you want to go to college, Victor?
Victor: Somewhere that will give me help in the medical field.
Me: What do you want to do in the medical field?
Victor: I want to be a general surgeon because they make $125,000 a year.
Me: But you’d also be saving lives.
Victor: I guess. I may be a cosmetic surgeon.
Me: Victorrrrrrr noooooooo
3. Carlos: We have a cat, and when I go to sleep he humps me.
Me: yeah, my dog humps me too. It embarrasses my mom.
4. [as we are playing basketball and I am getting embarrassingly winded and sweaty]:
Me: Do you guys like the Lakers?
Victor: We like the Clippers. The Lakers have a brand but don’t have heart.
Me: YASSSSS VICTOR YASSSSSS
5. Victor: I just feel so lethargic right now
Me: Me too, Victor. Me. Too.
6. Me: Do you guys have other siblings?
Victor: No, thankfully.
Carlos: Miscarriages, actually.
7. [as we are playing soccer]:
Victor: Alex, you need to work on your aim.
8. Victor: Did you see Frozen?
Me: Unfortunately, Victor, yes–yes I did.
Victor: They made a short film based on it. Everyone’s not over the “Frozen fever” yet. But you can only see it if you see Cinderella.
Me: Ohhh I see what they’re doing there.
Victor: Yep, self-promoting.
9. Carlos [as he’s drawing with crayons]: Sometimes I imagine people as crayons, but bigger. Because when you take the wrapper off the crayon it’s naked.
Me: That is… correct.
10. Victor: Do you know South Park?
Me: Yes, it’s a funny show.
Victor: But not for Carlos. He’s not allowed to watch it. Because of the vulgarity.
Carlos: Do you know Kenny?
Me: As in, ‘who killed Kenny’?
Carlos: Yeah, do you know what he says at the beginning of the show?
Carlos: I shouldn’t say it here. I would never.
Me: Ok, it’s good you know when and where not to say things. I don’t.
11. Carlos: Restaurants always take too long. Especially the fancy ones. Because they want to perfect their food.
Me: I know! Like, I don’t care what it looks like, I just want to shove it in my face!
12. Carlos: I’m literally the worst speller. Like, in school, I try to spell and think to myself, “I’m not doing my best work here.”
13. Victor [re: his drawing, pictured below]: I call it, “Boredom”
Carlos: It looks like Picasso.
Me: Do you like Picasso?
Carlos: I like Van Gogh better.
Me: How about you, Victor?
Victor: I don’t view art.
14. [At the end of each session, we ask the kids what they did today that they are proud of]:
Me: Victor, what did you do today that you’re proud of?
Victor: Hang out with you.
Me: HEY-O can I get a high five and fist bump for that?!
15. Victor [to me]: Here’s an origami flower for you to keep.
Me: Awww thank you, Victor–this is the first flower I’ve gotten and probably will get in a long time.