I got a call from a parent who was unhappy about something I said in class. Sometimes kids will take your words out of context or twist them up to make you look like a creep or a monster. This parent thought I had told her son that he should commit suicide because nobody would ever love his ugly face. Which is NOT at all what I said. In fact I told J. that he was bright and sensitive and a good listener who sometimes didn’t hear things the way they were really meant, and that, besides, there is a lid for every pot and that eventually some day he would find the right person. J’s mom insisted that the whole class heard me say it and that she has seen a video recording taken by another student, but I explained that I might have muttered a sarcastic joke, but that nobody listening could think I was sincere: “I make fun of everybody,” I said, “Including myself. I’ve told myself to kill myself many times, but I knew I was kidding so of course I didn’t do it!…Most days I just muddle through…” I guess I was crying a bit, and she hung up on me.