I have a particular student who keeps borrowing books from me and leaving them elsewhere in the school. He's lucky that other teachers and students return them to my room, but he's always surprised when I have them and a little hurt when I hesitate to place them in his care again. Today he wanted to borrow six books at once. To be honest, I sympathize with his ambition and his desire for dibs on certain titles: I always have a stack of books by my bedside, on my desk, or in the "good" bookcase, which I'm informally reserving for the near future. Whether I actually read them or not, for now, I want them near at hand. They are, however, my books.
Still, this student was undaunted by my unwillingness to simply hand over all the books he wanted. "Can I have that one when I finish this one?" and here, he looked around in confusion for the one he had left by the pencil sharpener.
"Yes," I said, handing him the lost volume.
"And can I have the other one when I'm done with that?" he inquired anxiously.
"Yes," I answered.
He looked longingly at the stack he had assembled. "What about next year? When I'm in seventh grade can I still borrow your books?"
"Yes," I told him.
"And what about you?" he asked. "Will you come to seventh grade, too?"