Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Was he, like, a sea captain or something?"

Or something. Close enough.

That line was my laugh for the day. I have a new student aide whom I am breaking in. Showing him how to mix and pug reclaim clay, mix up glazes, pick up and clean up around the studio, etc.

My older, broke-in student aide, Vicki, worked with him for the latter part of the day. At lunch, she said to me, "Jakob asked me if you were ever, like, a Navy captain, or, one of those other guys."

"Other guys?"

"Yeah, I asked him that. He said, 'Oh you, know, the, um... Marines".

"A gunnery sergeant?"


I laughed. "Why?"

"He said you looked like one, and you used nautical terms a lot."

(laughing even harder) "Like what?"

"I don't know".

"Wow. Funny".

Interesting thing about these kids that gravitate towards me here. They are the geek kids. The ones that play chess and role playing games. They are all soft, and a little pale, and soft-spoken, and shy, and funny, and for some reason, a lot are Pagans, or pretend to be, and all of them weird and quirky and interesting. And I encourage them in their weirdness and quirkiness and dorkiness.

I think I used to be one of them. Minus the soft part. Don't ask me how I ended up being GySgt Kurman (I don't know, can I call myself that? Well, two former student aides, both Marines who served in Iraq, called me that, so, yeah, I guess it's OK).

I guess it was when I realized no one was going to take care of me anymore, adn I had to do shit for myself. And also, I realized I liked working, and collecting skills. It's the only collection I've ever had or done. Skills.

They tell me they are scared of me at first, then realize the volume, tone, cadence, and inflections of my manner of speaking isn't shouting, or barking, and I won't cut their head off with a chainsaw if they ask something stupid. And that I have a very, very deadpan sense of humor.

They realize I'm there to dispense knowledge, for, oh, I don't know, so that they can carry on just in case I get shot in the head, or something.

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