Slugboy (your tax dollars at work)

I’ve been in education twenty years. I’ve seen a lot of lazy kids. But NEVER have I seen a kid as lazy as Slugboy.

Slugboy is a portly, shabbily-dressed young man who attends my class each day. By “attends,” I mean that he shows up, sits down, and does nothing but breathe. Seriously. There is valuable classroom oxygen going to waste here!

Slugboy only exerts effort toward one goal: doing absolutely nothing. In fact, I would wager that if he took the effort he puts into doing nothing and applied it to doing something, he’d be an A student across the board.

Time and time again, I’ve been told by various co-workers that he is actually very smart. I beg to differ. He may have ability, but refusing to use that ability isn’t smart at all. Ability minus effort equals NOTHING. Zero. Zilch.

I half-jokingly think to myself that I should just start giving Slugboy money now, since he will be sucking up everyone’s tax dollars very soon, anyway. Buy him a Playstation, a couch, and a case of Cheetos, and he’ll be set! I wonder: if I prepay his welfare, can I get a discount later on?

I realize this may raise hackles for some, but let’s face it: there are those on welfare who shouldn’t be. Chances are good they are very much like Slugboy. They have ability, but they don’t have motivation. Why do they deserve my money?

I don’t doubt that Slugboy has some very serious issues at home. I’m sure it’s not a healthy situation. And, on some level, I do feel sorry for him. It’s just that I can’t stand seeing somebody so eager to let themselves fail, especially when he has so many supportive adults around him each day at school.

I had a conversation with him today. I tried to emphasize that if he behaves the way he does in class on the job, he will be fired. I told him I think it’s sad that he isn’t willing to help himself, and that it will backfire on him later in life. I said a number of other things. I had remote hope that we might have a “come to Jesus moment,” so to speak. Slugboy would magically see the error of his ways, try harder, and eventually grow up to be of some use to society. That was not the case. Slugboy continually inflated and deflated a balloon he had in his pocket during the entire “conversation.” See what I mean about my precious oxygen?

It will be the last conversation I have with him. I have close to 30 other students in my class who are willing to try, and I will focus on them. It’s no fun when I have to give up on somebody, but like Spock said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”