Good Behavior



Teaching High School English provided a wealth of experiences for me, like when the principal tore down my display of my students’ poetry because it didn’t rhyme and heaven-forbid there was a profane word on one of them! I refrained from walking out of the school that day because I thought about the students, and the chances that it seemed only I gave them.

There was this Mexican boy, Danny, who signed up for my journalism class, my poetry class, even my Irish History class, and he excelled at all of them. He became my go-to reporter, my best photographer, a great poet, and he always brought me these jalapeño suckers that I just couldn’t bring myself to try.

One day, Danny wasn’t there, and one of our police officers told me they found him that morning in the middle of the street, in a pool of his own blood with his head completely smashed but they assured me no drugs or theft was involved. The local news came to me and I told him about what an amazing talent he was (–the word was hurt) and I went to visit him a few times with hundreds of cards from his friends, but he was in a coma for 39 days, and they wouldn’t let me in.

Danny can’t function on his own, he can’t write anymore, he can’t hold a camera, he can’t feed himself, but the guy they caught running from the scene got 18 months in a minimum security facility with time off for good behavior.


About Ryn Cricket

When I talk to people, I always hear, "I always wanted to do that," or "You're so lucky!" I NEVER want to be the person who says those things. I am not lucky, I make things work. I don't think "I want to do that." I do it. When I was in the seventh grade I wanted to do three things when I grew up, I wanted to be an English teacher, a writer and a mother. All of that traveling, adventure, and Peace Corps was just research for what was to come. After more than twenty years of being told I would never be able to have children, I had two beautiful baby girls, a year and a half apart. I spend some of my time teaching English in Shanghai, China, and the rest of my time, inspiring my two little girls, or being inspired by writing at the writers’ workshop I call “home.”

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