READER

Jesus A. comes to short-term intervention today dragging his jacket half off. He asks for tape.

“Why?”

He shows me the two slits in the sleeve with the lining fluffing out.

“Oh,” I say and find the Scotch tape. “How did this happen?”

“This kid was bullying me.”

I took the time to hear about the incident including a bruise from a kick on his leg and the clawing that ripped his sleeve while I patched up his jacket. Then I took a reading record with him.

“I am really proud of you, Jesus A. You are already moving ahead. You are doing so well in this level!”

He played a word game and I introduced a new book. Then our time was up. Packing his portfolio, he asked, “What, what um, level? What am I?”

I leaned in. “You are a human. Your level is being a person, right?”

He looked a little confused, then amusement played on his face. “Yes.”

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