Short Take: Surviving the Wiseass Kid

So last night I was helping out my friend Tony D’Amelio, with his brilliant scholarship program for local teens going to college, Dollars For Scholars. (For info go to:  www.dollarsforscholars.org)  I had volunteered to be on the “Scholarship Committee.”  We (the committee head and I) had gone to our local JCC, where a bunch of teens and their parents had come to hear a panel talk about getting into college.  Standing at the table, we were ready with our brochures and our pitch as the kids and parents exited the college meeting.  Basically we were just trying to give them information about the program, how to apply for the scholarships, the website, etc.  Most of them were thrilled to hear, signed up for the email list, and took info on the program.

Except one.

I rounded up this particular boy and his Mom and gave them my shpiel, as enthusiastically and coherently as I could.

Mom turned to her son and said, “Why don’t we sign up?”

The boy shrugged and started to walk away.

Undaunted, I continued my pitch. “It’s based on need and merit….”

To which the kid replied, “I have no merit.”

(His mother was not amused, but what could she do?  She gave me a helpless look and followed him out the door.)

See now, that’s the kind of thing I probably would have have said at that age, wiseass that I was. Cynicism as self-protection.

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