Since the first day of school, one student in particular has given me absolute hell. Zachary Langkilde is a senior, starting football player, and a very cute kid. Unfortunately, he has an ego so big; his head often cannot fit through my classroom door. When added to his 5’5 stature with my diagnosis of ‘short-man’ syndrome, he is one extremely cheeky kid. In November, my students became parents to flour children. For one week, they assumed the responsibilities of having to care for a 10 pound sack of flour dressed as a baby. Some naturally chose not to do the project. Zach, to my surprise, took the project very seriously. His baby, named Swagger, was the best cared for and dressed in his class. During my “baby patrols” at lunch, I would spot him holding his baby while talking to his girlfriend, who was Swagger’s after school sitter. Daily Zach would show me how he was such a good dad, even if it meant I had to give him the attention he craved. He still has his ‘show-boat’ and cheeky moments, like stealing some kid’s calculator to take his final during the final, but since this project, he and I have developed a bond. After losing their championship football game, he came to me still sweaty and in his gear on the field for support. This past Wednesday, after performing in the annual Christmas concert, he found me and gave a big bear hug. I still don’t know how, but this cheeky 17 year old boy has weaseled his way into my heart. The picture below is of Zach holding Swagger working on an assignment in class.