Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Big Britches

What is the matter with kids these days? I swear, they are getting
too big for their britches. Even those baggy, saggy britches that
they want to wear to act...umm...minorityish, while trying to get
away with mumbling racial slurs to their buddies. Some of these
kids just ain't right in the head. Now don't take this to mean I
don't like them. I do like them. But they have no concept of how
things are in the REAL world. A world where you are not treated
like a valued endangered species.

I have way too many examples to try my case in the court of
Blogger. So I will just limit it to what I heard today.

A kid came in with a big ol' lip-piercing thingy in his bottom lip.
A little birdie told me (actually, it was a little 8th grader) that
this very kid had pierced his lip with a safety pin on her bus
yesterday morning. They thought he was freaky. So today,
he shows up with this piece of hardware, acting all cock-of-
the-walk, whatever that means, but it suits my purpose because
ONE of those words certainly describes his behavior. I asked
him if he was trying to look like that kidnapped-returned boy
who has been in the news lately, whose name I do not want to
use to draw people to this blog because he has had enough
trouble in his young life, and people should just lay off and leave
him alone. The lip kid said, "Noo!" like I was out of line for
making that comparison when HELLO none of these kids wore
that kind of thing or even thought of it until this kid was on the

Another kid chimed in that "I HATE that kid. If I ever see him,
I will beat him to a pulp. I think he ran away, and he LIKED
what that guy did to him, and that's why he stayed and never
told anyone or tried to run away, even though that guy was
at work all the time." So I asked him how he knew so much
about the case, and he said, "Well, I know what I would have
done." I told him none of us know what we would have done
unless it happened to us. He said, "I would have run away."
So I asked how he would know at 11 years old how to get
back home, and what if the police didn't believe his story
and took him back, and his kidnapper was really mad and
decided to kill him instead of taking a chance on getting
caught. And this kid said, "I would have let him kill me. At
least I would have died in peace knowing he never touched
me." I also asked him if he didn't think that kid could have
found a better way to run away than to ride his bike down
a country road and wait for a stranger to kidnap him. Did
he mean that letting a stranger throw him and his bike into
a truck was running away? So he said, "Well, if somebody
came along and offered me a ride, I'd go. If it was just for
the ride, because it might be fun. But if they said they were
kidnapping me, I don't think I'd go." Keep in mind this is from
a kid who was sent to alternative school before we had been
in school a month for telling the principal he could take his
m-f-ing school and shove it up his m-f-ing a$$$ because he
felt he should be able to get up and do what he wanted in the
afterschool program for Fers. According to his friends, anyway.
He went on to tell me that rules are stupid, like wearing a helmet
to ride a motorcycle, or having to be a certain age to drive
or drink. I wonder if he likes the laws that keep adults from
beating the crap out of him.

Another example: I came into my classroom when the bell
rang and found a 9th grader SITTING IN MY CHAIR. If
you have read my little blog very long, you know that is a
federal offense in the land of Hillmomba. I told him to get up
out of my chair and NEVER, EVER, sit in it again. And he
said, "I was only reading the announcements." Like it was
his right to sit there. I gave him the lecture about respecting
people's things, especially the things of one in authority such
as I believe myself to be. He nodded his head sullenly, and
mumbled something to his cousin under his breath, which
was OK by me, because it is an improvement on his tantrum-
throwing behavior earlier in the year when I told him to redo
his paper like the instructions told him to do it, so he crumpled
it and tossed it in the wastebasket and took a victory lap around
the room in a fit of peevishness, but returned to dig the paper
out of the trash and fix it when I told him it was good evidence
to attach to his discipline referral slip. As long as these little
testosterone-charged whippersnappers back down and don't
aim their mini-meltdowns at me, I have won. In a large class,
I would not tolerate it, but in my little group, we are a family
of the most disfunctional type.

Even another example: I explained how to find the range of
a set of numbers in my 9th grade Math class. It is not hard,
as Mabel would attest, IF she had a blog and could prove
that she is not imaginary. Don't forget that the students had
this in the 7th grade and the 8th grade as well. When I gave
out the assignment, they did not know how to do it. I asked
why they didn't ask questions when I gave the example. I
figured they understood it, and I was NOT going over it
again. "But I WAS listening! I just wasn't paying attention."
Too bad. You snooze, you lose. Then one of the non-paying
attentioners asked to go to the library to check out a book.
I don't think so.

"Why not?"
"Because this is a Math class. You give me a hard time every
day, not paying attention, then wanting to come to my desk
to try and get the answer worked out for you. I do not have
to let you go to the library, and I am not going to."
"Where is ThatGuyWhoSitsOverThere?"
"Oh, he's in the library. I let him go work in his report for his
Civics class. Because he listens to me and is polite."

Heh, heh. I wanted to add that I am not required to be fair,
but I figured that is the kind of statement that would get me
held after a faculty meeting, so I didn't.

Just so we're not beating up on the boys too much, and to be
FAIR, I'll give you an example from the female persuasion.
As they left class yesterday, an 8th grader said that she had
met someone at a party she went to with her grandpa. As
they filed out of the room, another one said, "Eww! Who goes
to a party with their GRANDPA!" Today, they got to talking
about it again.

"I didn't have a choice. I was staying with him, and he went.
It was just to the VFW."
"Did you dress up?"
"NO! It wasn't a date or anything! I just wore jeans and a T-shirt."
"What did he wear?"
"A tuxedo."
"Man! Weren't you out of place?"
"No. Everyone else there was dressed like me. So-and-So was
wearing a flannel shirt and jeans."
"Who's So-and-So?"
"Grandpa's girlfriend."
"Did you dance with anyone?"
"No! They were all old."

Which brings us to the final examples of the day. My kids wrote
a personal experience paragraph. On wrote about the time she
and her family were riding bicycles, and she rode too close to
the basketball goal and knocked herself unconscious for five
minutes. Another wrote about the time he and his dad drove
around after a snowstorm and pulled people out of ditches.
According to him, "It was as cold as a lice box."

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.


Stacie said...

A lice box? Ha!
Please don' let one of my kid's teachers have a blog. Please don't let one of my kid's teachers have a blog. Please don't let one of my kid's teachers have a blog.
I know she could easily be blog fodder.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Can you move to my neck of the woods? Can we get your daughter a transfer? I won't harm her! I appreciate all the good material my DoNots give me. I am actually quite fond of them--in a non-pervish sort of way.