Wry Exchange

The Horror Student
08-14-07, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some students are problems before they arrive.  This is usually because of language and cultural differences.  One boy was a late applicant, we accepted him anyway.  He just made the deadline. (Students have 30 days after program’s orientation to be in the country.)  
]The student’s nickname was ‘Ketchup.’ (Not really, but it was something equally insipid.)  I told him that he might want to use a different nickname because the US kids would probably tease him.  He .declined, telling me he loved his name.  Two of our other students introduced themselves by saying ‘Hi, I’m Mustard, and he’s Relish.’  Ketchup didn’t see the humor.
My 2 students took an immediate dislike to Ketchup. They both said he wasn’t a nice boy.   At his first meeting with all of our students, Ketchup showed up smoking.  We found out later he was repeated told to stop smoking at school, too.  He was rude to the girls, and kicked a boy to get his attention.  The other students told me he didn’t belong in the program.  I can’t terminate someone just because he’s an ass, he has to break a rule.
Ketchup’s hostparents left on a previously planned mini-vacation, and placed Ketchup with Hostdad’s godparents. They ‘had a feeling’ about him, and hid the car keys and valuables. Their neighbors watched the dog. Ketchup lied to the godparents, and said he had to go to the house to feed the dog.
 Ketchup was arrested and spent the night in county jail. He was 18, so it was real jail, not juvie. Ketchup took his hostfather’s car to a football game Friday night because he didn’t want to walk in the rain.  He blew through a stop sign on the way back home, and was pulled over.  Ketchup was arrested and charged with car theft, no driver’s license, running a stop sign, no insurance, and no valid license plates.  (Our exchange students are not permitted to drive, and he had no license in his country, either.)  They couldn’t hold him at the police station, and couldn’t reach any contacts, so they transported him to the county jail.
 Ketchup called his hostfather for his one phone call, Hostdad called me. He had no idea what to do.  I called the jail and police station to ask about procedure.  Husband and I lead a sheltered life; we never had to bail someone out before.  I borrowed bail money from my father.  We called other people above us in our program, and Ketchup’s counselor.  NONE of them wanted anything to do with the situation.  Husband and I went to jail.  It took forever to navigate all the paperwork.  The first thing Ketchup said was ‘Can I still go to Homecoming tonight?’  Not even ‘thank you!’   We took Ketchup to our house since no one else wanted him for the weekend. 
We brought him home, and cleaned him up. We took him to a golf outing with us since we didn’t trust him home alone. His court case was Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, he was on the plane back home after being found guilty.

That’s when Husband and I came up with a new rule: If we have to bail you out of jail, you’re going home.  No second chance.


1 Comment so far
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I think that’s a REALLY good rule to have. I adopted the same rule during my dating years but only had to use it once.

Comment by Kristi

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