Last week I was falsely accused of a crime that I was thinking about committing because it was something I’d frequently threatened to do.
Last Thursday, at the beginning of my sixth period class, one of my worst students was playing Some Kind Of Game (not a real game) on his PlayStation Portable. What caught my eye was 1) the bell had just rung so he should have been getting ready and 2) it was blue.
One of my classroom policies is that if I see you playing a game in class, I confiscate the device and, if you’re lucky, return it at the end of class. However, after the blue PSPs came out, I said that if I saw a blue PSP in class, it was my present and I’d never give it back.
However, this time, I told the student to put it away and he did. Sort of. I was still thinking about taking it, but I didn’t.
Then, soon after class, he came down and asked me to give him his PSP back. I pointed out that I didn’t have it and sent him back to the fourth floor to get it. I thought it was a strange encounter: had I blacked out and stolen the device but didn’t remember; or had my guilt at thinking about taking it manifested itself as actual theft in the form of invisible demons? But then stopped thinking about it before my thoughts got too crazy. Until Monday.
On Monday, my birthday no less, the same student came back to get his PSP. He had apparently 1) forgot that he’d put it in the desk; 2) had imagined me taking it and 3) spent the weekend bitching to his parents that I was a thief who had kept his PSP over the weekend. I told him, once again, I didn’t have it and told him to go back up to the fourth floor or to lost and found or find out which of his friends stole it.
Finally, today, I had that class again and the same student was there playing with his blue PSP again. I told him to put it away and he did. Then, at the end of class, I told him to make sure he had his PSP and, if he forgot it, not to blame me.
Oh, and I told him to tell his parents I’m actually awesome and not a thief.