Seriously. I’m done. I don’t need to be complimented ever again. I’ve reached my peak.
(No, ACTUALLY SERIOUSLY, I’m kidding. I love compliments. Please don’t stop, not ever, just be more clever about them, hmm?)
A student came in this morning, he was in a mood. He wanted to vent and bitch and complain about his day. It was 10 am. It’s fine. It’s a service I provide. I spend all my time surrounded by students and I’ve build a rapport with them, listening to them vent is just part of the job.
He launches into a long, detailed, Livlife-worthy description of his morning. As he talks he’s ramping up, getting more and more excited. He ends his tale with an emphatic “AND I LEFT THE HOUSE WITHOUT MY LIGHTER SO I COULDN’T EVEN HAVE A CIGARETTE TO DE-STRESS.” And, yes, he was speaking in all caps.
While he was being very dramatic, I, calmly, reached into my desk drawer and pulled out a black Bic lighter. I handed it to him and said, “go, bring it back when you’re done, and we’ll talk some more.”
He wanted to know, rightly, why I have a lighter in my drawer. I told him that this happened with a student years ago, right after I started and that student was crying because they couldn’t smoke. And I found that student some matches. That student brought me this lighter the next day and told me to keep it in case that ever happened to another student. Surprisingly, it does happen, more than you might think.
This student, he said to me, “this might make no sense to you, but I’ve thought it several times, and this clinched it, so I wanted you to know.” (He was no longer talking in caps at this point).
Then he said, “you remind me of someone.”
And I died a tiny, happy death.
For those that watch the show, Criminal Minds, (my parents, my siblings) you get it. You know who she is. I’ve even been teased about wanting to BE her before. She is…awesome. Smart and funny and powerful and the smartest damn person on that show (no offense, Dr. Reid).
Plus, she’s quirky and cool and fun.
I expressed my shock to this student and he said, “no, really, you’re super smart, and you always know the answer. You usually know what we want before we even ask, on the rare time that you don’t know, you figure it out because you’re super resourceful, and you’re cool, like her. I’ve thought this several times, this was just the first time I decided to tell you, because I didn’t know if it would mean anything to you.”
And I told him how I love that show and have for years and that I admire her so much and it is a huge compliment to be compared to someone like that. I might have gushed a little.
And he replied, “um, okay, I’m gonna go smoke now.”
Moment over, I guess.
But I will carry that compliment with me always.