Lessons Learned at the Bus
While approaching the bus stop, I noticed that two of my class mates were already at the bus stop. They were engaged in conversation. Once I reached the bus stop, I could not help but overhear their conversation. Alfred said to John,
hey man school was drawlin today, I thought Mr. Dean would never stop wit the
history lesson. Yeah man John responded. I was fall-lin asleep. The boys started
laughing at themselves. John went on to say the only fun part of the day was
when Lee came into the room with his fat boots on. I bet he got them jawns from
the new store in the mall. Yeah boy dem things were tight. You gone get a pair
John? Naw man, my momís money is kinda short right now. I got you dog, I know
While listening to John and Alfred, I wondered was I the only one at the bus
stop who could hear them clearly and yet not comprehend the majority of their
conversation. After a few minutes of confusion, I decided to inform John and Alfred that I had overheard their conversation and although they were not
talking to me I was confused by what they were saying. John said yeah bookworm
what did you want to know since you were listening when nobody was talking to you. I asked Alfred what he meant when he said school was really drawing. Alfred said after a loud chuckle, naw man, I did not say drawing, I said drawlin, D R A W L I N. Did you get the spellin bookworm? Drawlin means like being unfair. Mr. Dean kept on with his mouth without given us a break dude and that aint fair.
May I ask you a question about Leeís boots? Why did you say the boots were fat? Were you saying the boots were nice? Book worm boy you are really out of it. I said the boots were fat and yes that did mean nice. If the boots were not fat, I would have said those boots Lee had on were whacked. Book worm why donít you understand English when it is said to ya? At this point the boys were nearly in tears from laughing. Bookworm said to Alfred and John, I do understand English but that is not what the two of you are speaking. The two of you seem to be making up your own language. What you guys said is not considered any
Book worm its brothers like you who nobody likes cause youíre a wanna be. You
wanna be a so perfect with the way you talk and all. Why donít
you just be like the rest of the young people and talk the
way we do? No guys, I donít want to be perfect. I simply want to
be understood when I speak. I just think that people
should speak to each other in a way that is understood. No one speaks perfectly, but if we practice good grammar, we can and will be understood by those we are speaking with.
I just donít know why you guys could not have said things such as: Mr. Dean was not being fair in class today. Instead of him talking the entire time we were in class, he could have given us a five minute break. John couldnít you have simply said Leeís boots were really nice. Alfred instead of saying ďyeah boy dem things were tight,Ē couldnít you have said I like Leeís boots? Book worm why you all up in our grill anyway? I think your asking me why am I talking to you. Is that correct? Yeah thatís right, why you talkin to us anyway? Book worm we were not talking to you. I understand that guys. The only reason that I even made mention of your conversation is because if I overheard you than others at the bus stop also overheard your conversation. Can you image how confused some of them must be
listening to you guys. I am in the same age range and the same class and I was
I am really sorry for questioning your conversation. Since I did overhear you guys I had questions to ask. People will hear you guys on the corner speaking the way you were speaking and assume that all guys our age speak the same way or
have the same mentality. I am not trying to put you down but I really donít want to be known as someone who does not know how to say a sentence in its entirety.
I donít want others not to talk to me for fear of not understanding what I am saying. You can call me book worm, but I am just a kid who wants to do better for myself. I donít know everything, but I know I did not understand what you guys were saying or why you could not speak in a manner that is understandable. I thought as you guys were talking that if you were listening in class you would not have fallen asleep.
May I ask you guys one more question? When I am talking do you understand what I
am saying? Yeah book worm we understood you. Well guys, I have proven my point,
you understood me because I was speaking English.
Book worm it is like this, all kids like to talk the way we talk. It is just the way things are. If you want to be hip, you have to know how to talk hip. We understand each other.
Alfred, do you think your dad the police officer could have said to the person in a car accident, ďyo peeps what it isĒ and expect the people to explain to him how the accident happened.? I am not saying that everything I say is correct. I am saying that I try hard to be understood by everyone not just people my age. I am going to continue my walk home. I will see you guys tomorrow at school, thanks for talking to me.
John, bookworm may not be hip and we made fun of him, but he does really get good grades in school. Bookworm seems to really know what he is talking about. John did you know he was offered a summer internship at the television station after his interview last week? Yeah Alfred you got a point there. Maybe we should think about what he said. Yeah maybe we should. Both boys entered the bus.