Sunday, April 02, 2006

Youth Culture For Our Times

Not only do my students listen to Matisyahu--oh, and per Time Magazine, Michelle Wie does too...but also...

1. They covet grills, those gaudy precious-metal tooth decorations worn by rappers with more money than sense, and subsequently by fans with, still apparently, more money than sense. Because they're in middle school, they can't actually afford solid-gold bridges with their names picked out in diamonds, so they improvise.

Improvise means that they take the silver foil wrapping from sticks of gum, and mold these over the upper or lower row of their teeth, smoothing them out so that each tooth shows through the foil. When I catch them at this, they have to throw the foil away. "But it's my grill," they plead.

Silvery grins all over the classroom. And chewing gum all the while.

2. They love Hot Cheetos, and will risk detention in order to eat these in class. They will sometimes eat Hot Cheetos in class with cheese dip. I have found cheese dip in the damndest places.

3. They have interesting ideas of revenge. A coworker has a student, quite a large young man for the seventh grade, who was being picked on by a measly little sixth-grader. Hassled beyond endurance, unwilling to seek adult help, and apparently not willing to just punch a child half his size, this boy seized his tormentor's backpack, threw it in a urinal, and urinated on it.

4. They have interesting ideas of entertainment. The same coworker had a student who was suspended while a sub had care of the class, for refusing to surrender a piece of paper handed to him. The piece of paper read 'The penis game. Pass it on.'

For those of you unfamiliar with the Penis Game, it is a form of group entertainment in which the kids in a class all chant the word 'penis' quietly, but with increasing volume, until they are caught or otherwise in trouble.

5. They want to smell good. Unfortunately, to them, this means spraying Axe, or Jovan's Sex Appeal (depending on gender), ALL OVER THEIR CLOTHES, in large quantities, IN CLASS. I have kids with allergies. The reek produced from this is amazing--one large part rubbing alcohol to one large part cheap cologne. I have had boys caught with the Axe tell me 'that's what a real man smells like'. I have had to tell them that no, whatever a real man smells like, that is not it. "How do you know?" one boy asked me.

I gotta get out of this place.

1 comment:

Jack's Shack said...

Sounds like more fun than a barrel of monkeys.