Quotes From "John," a Special Ed Boy at Outdoor School

I'm not making fun of "John" (not his real name). He's a great kid who I really like. A kid who's quirky and funny. This is my world.
  1. My job is to support John so he can be successful at Outdoor School, so he can have fun and learn, and both he and the other kids can stay safe.
  2. John has a rough home life and autism. I'm not sure which affects him more. He's really fun until he's not, and then all hell breaks loose. At the time if this story he was 12.
    This describes a lot of kids I work with.
  3. After eating breakfast of FIVE pieces of French toast, SIX sausage links, FOUR glasses of milk and two glasses of water:
  4. I was with him 24/7.
    Outdoor School is the best week of the whole school year!
  5. John went to Outdoor School for a two night, three day stint, possibly the first real time away from relatives.
  6. John walked in and I waited outside. And waited. And waited. A. Long. Time.
  7. Me: "Maybe next time don't eat so much?"
  8. John: "What do you expect? It's all you can eat!"
  9. At lunch I reminded him of how he felt after breakfast. He thanked me for the reminder and proceeded to eat three ham and cheese sandwiches, a bag of chips, and a couple of bananas.
  10. Later, after lunch we were walking to a Field Study about soil. John needed to use the bathroom, so we detoured away from the rest of the kids towards the bathrooms.
  11. "Oh god. I'm too full. I need to puke, but it's been so long since I puked that I don't remember how."
    He was a frequent puker and it had only been a couple of weeks since the last puking at school. He hadn't forgotten.
  12. Finally he comes out and I will spare you the details which he did not spare me from.
    You're welcome!
  13. We walk to the soil Field Study and maybe 15 minutes later John comes up and tells me that he needs to go back to the bathroom.
  14. I said "Really? We were just there 15 minutes ago. Are you sure?"
    Because false alarms happen and I wanted to make sure he wasn't just goofing around. I'm happy to walk as far as needed if he really needs to go. But sometimes he just wants to goof around.
  15. Then he hits me with "Yeah. I forgot to wipe."
  16. Fifteen. Minutes. After.
  17. Fifteen minutes. No kidding. That's when it hit him that he'd forgotten to wipe.
  18. We both laughed and walked to the bathroom.
  19. "I forgot," he says, while ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  20. Right before dinner John says "I'm still full from lunch" and proceeded to eat a good four servings of spaghetti and several pieces of bread, a couple glasses of milk, a couple glasses of water and one piece of cake (only because there weren't any seconds on cake) and the he says "That was good snack."
  21. ...
  22. John and I are walking to animal Field Study.
    There are four Field Studies: Soil; Water; Animal; Plant. All fun!!
  23. John points to some blackberry bushes and says "Oh, there are some brambles. You can see that one bramble is male and the other bramble is female."
  24. What?
  25. Me "Um, what?"
  26. John "Well, you can see the male bramble trying to have sex with the female bramble. Then you can see the female yelling at him and pushing him away. They wrestle for a little while. Then they have sex and become blackberry brambles. That's nature."
    He looks at me and has a huge smile, because that's nature.
  27. Me "Oh. How can you tell?"
    Hey, I want to know!
  28. John "Yeah. One bramble is a boy and the other is a girl."
  29. Wow.
  30. Later we're walking along and he suddenly stops, looking concerned and says "Oh! I need to go to the bathroom." ...pause...loud fart. "Nope. Never mind. I'm good." Smiles.
  31. That evening John's cabin group was on Scrub Club duty, which means they have to clean the bathrooms.
  32. The camp staff lady was explaining to the kids what they need to do. She says "We'll be scrubbing toilets, and we need to do a really good job, so we use toothbrushes. So I'll need all do you to run grab your own personal toothbrush so you can scrub the toilets with your own personal toothbrush."
  33. She looks from face to face. Nobody reacts to her joke except John who says, with a big smile "Well I guess I'm really lucky because I forgot to bring my toothbrush."
    Yeah, but I have to talk to you all day, so I'm unlucky.
  34. I cannot even tell you how much I love my job. Sometimes I can't hardly believe they pay me.