Then he asked us our opinions about who had the best self-image. Of those who spoke up, (four) there was one vote for everyone but Andrew. When he asked for worst, there was one vote for John, one for Brian, and two for Andrew, and maybe one for Allison. Each person who raised their hand was supposed to give a justification for what they thought, but it was just like one reason or sentence basically.
So then he gives us his picks, as a psychology teacher. "Recognizing that none of them have very positive self images" the best was Allison. Worst was...John! I felt justified. He said (and the rest of this is pretty much his thoughts in my own words) that John pushes people away and keeps a wall up so that no one can get close. He's an expert at defocusing, answering questions with questions so that no one will know who he is. When he told them all what his home life was like, what happened? He flipped out and got violent. Who was he upset with? Himself, for telling them, for letting down that barrier, for showing them a part of him. One of the other questions that he had for us was what would you do with a student like John? Our unanimous response was nothing that Vernon did. But he said that John was not a lost cause, I can't remember the word he used, it wasn't savable, but something like that. He mentions that we know John is intelligent--he has a large vocabulary. I think there is more to it than that, but regardless we at least walk away with the feeling that he's more than this bastard who always gets in trouble. Another thing you see it in is the way that he takes the fall for when they are all out of the classroom. Anyway, we talked about being interested in his life and in his progress in school, but especially being interested in him as a person. I don't know. I just thought it was an interesting class, and at least someone agreed with me that while John is the character that you probably like the best, he's not the one with the best self-image.