I will be the first to tell you: I am so totally, unabashedly square, I’m downright cubic. This is evidenced daily in a thousand tiny and grand ways … up to and including the fact that I just wrote ‘unabashedly’ and that I thought my ‘so square I’m cubic’ was cleverly hilarious.
When I started working at the Ed Center (my night job), I felt the squareness a little acutely. Everyone at the EC is dripping teh kewl. Walking into that place is like walking into the funky, alternative grad school seminar that’s held in the back room at the Italian pastry shop. And then there’s me.
It’s ok. Really. I have my own thing going on, and it works. There’s a reason, after all, that my old students come around for hugs and kisses on a regular basis.
Tuesday was the first night of class — and the first post-break-up night that Jeovany and Valerie had to sit in class together. And there was drama. Hey, it’s Valerie and Jeovany. Of course there was drama. After class their teacher, Jay, sat with Sarah, the other night teacher, and Damian (youth counselor) processing the mess. Someone needed to talk to Valerie, read her a bit of the riot act, help her find a constructive, or at least non-disruptive, way to handle this awkward time. Everyone was ready to get in her face, do the tough love thing. But they also acknowledged that navigating this relationship stuff was hard, that maybe what she needed was to talk with one of the other youth counselors (all women). But none of the other counselors really know Valerie. And then they thought of me.
Damian walked down to my office. I was, surely, aware of the drama, he said. There was a plan for how Jay would address the problem, but would I mind talking to Valerie if that became necessary?
“We’re going to bring what we got,” he said, “but if someone were to send her up to see you … ”
“No problem. I’d be happy to talk with her.”
“I’m not even going to try to give you an idea of what to say. You’ll go there without any help from me. Your kung fu is totally different,” (illustrated with fabulous arm gestures and torso twist!).
My own ‘kung fu’ eh? I laughed, of course, but I liked it, too. Let’s hope it works if/when I have to talk with Valerie.
Naturally, I had to go straight to YouTube, and as usual I was not disappointed. Carl Douglas is there in all his glory. This video is the clearest … but it’s also one of the strangest. I would love to understand what this ‘show’ was supposed to be and why Carl agreed to be on it in this weird way. Yeah, that and the creepy shot-in-a-Moscow-disco-in-1974 looking one with all the retro Russian kids looking bemused and befuddled! Skip to 1:15 for the start of the song: