Rafael’s hammer

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We’ll call him Rafael. He did not do a single problem on his last assignment. Instead, he drew Thor’s hammer on the back of the sheet, with lightening bolts coming out of the hammer. The Rafaels make many teachers despair, as they pursue their personal agendas, ignoring the math swirling about them.

I love Rafael. He won’t be in my class next semester and I am going to miss him. I know he’ll miss me too. I don’t think too many people in his world are backing up his plan to make superhero movies. As far as I am concerned, we might as well support our Rafaels. They won’t quit drawing hammers because we explain that auto repair is more practical. I recommend double majors to students like Rafael, emphasizing the need to make a living until the big break comes.

Rafael’s grade will be OK. Much of the time I caught his hammer-drawing efforts in time. He did enough to get by, in the tradition of Rafaels everywhere.

Eduhonesty: I enjoy working with this kid because he has a dream. One of the best parts of teaching is supporting the random dreams that somehow grow up between the cracks of the broken sidewalks in our poor neighborhoods. This kid plans to go somewhere. I’m glad to have had the chance to believe in him.