Today, one of my students sat next to me during lunch. He was cracking me up as usual. I told him how funny he was, and asked him if his mom ever told him that.
I'm always asking things like that so I can get a better idea of my kids' home lives.
So, he says "No, she just likes it when I be gangsta." No kidding.
I can't resist, so I ask, what is gansta? "You know, when I say yo dog and stuff like that." As I ask for more details he tells me..."Yeah, my dad is King Gansta. He be Gansta at home and with my grandma and even when we go to the store. I miss my dad. He's in jail now."
No way am I going to ask more details, but the kids across the table ask why. "He ran over somebody," was his response. (This was the first time he'd ever mentioned his dad being in jail.)
I let that subject drop after I say that I'm sorry about his dad. A little later, back into the gansta conversation, I ask if he's a gansta. "Yeah, I'm a middle-class gansta." Priceless.