He was serious:"You should have a TV show
D. is academically on the bubble--he has a D-/F+ currently with one more week in the semester. We were learning about the Whiskey Rebellion, taking graphic notes in six panels. He looked up from his notes and sincerely gave me that haiku-friendly compliment. I didn't know how to react because middle school praise is as blunt and sincere as middle school scorn; it has no kiss-up coating or social distance. His comment was like being bear-hugged in public. I recovered my balance, smiled and thanked him, and pressed forward with the excise tax and Washington's march on Pennsylvania, but inside I was cartwheeling.