Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shep in Sunday School

From: Joshua Stone
Date: Sunday, May 29, 2011
To: Mark Johnson , Walker Dollahon
Cc: Sean Dollahon , Phil Taddei , Chad Wilson , Eduardo Cardenas , Lance Orton

To be precise, the question asked by my teaching colleague was "What
are some skills you are learning right now?"

After his classmates said "fractions!" and "cleaning my room!" and
"spanish!" Shep hollered out, fast, almost garbled, "Cleaning my

As I said, it took me a moment to process what I'd heard.  But I knew
I heard "penis," so I stood up and said in a pretty regular voice,
"Shep, come with me."

Outside the classroom door:
Josh:  Shep, what did I heard you say just now?
Shep [wearing a faint grin, studying my face]:  Cleaning my penis.
[laughter laughter]
Josh:  Shep, you know you can talk about that with your Mom and Dad,
right?  In your family, yeah?  [nodding his head, grin flashing on and
off] But you can't say it in class like that.  [at this his grin got a
bit more clearly defined.  He relished the thought of his joke,
clearly, so I dropped my hammer, and slightly my tone of voice]  It
was wrong.  I have to tell your Mom and Dad what you've said.
Shep [grin faded out, replaced by fear and faint trembling of voice,
also raised up an octave--like a little boy soprano tremulando]:
Nooo!   Don't tell my parents!  Puhleeeeeze...
Josh:  Yep.
Shep:  [more sadly yet] ...nooooooooo!  Please nooooooo!
Josh:  Don't worry, Shep, its for your good [I actually said that].
Your Daddy loves you, and I know your Daddy and I love him, so I know
he'll want to know about this, because he loves you.  See?  You got
nothing to worry about.  Make sense?
Shep:  [blinks]
Josh:  Ok, good.  Lets go back into class.

We walk back in the room and pass by Hampton Pillsbury.  In my memory,
now, he's leaning back in his chair, with his feet up on the table.
He sticks his hand up to Shep for a high five and says, "Nice one
man!" then jerks his thumb to the marker board, where Jen Needham, the
other teacher, had written "PERSONAL HYGIENE."

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