Or how they took “class” out of “classroom”

My attempt to understand the future Masters and Mistresses of the Universe is occasional substitute teaching stints at local high schools. I have come to terms with low riding jeans and appreciate the benefits of this fashion statement. If a kid runs off with my wallet while holding up his pants, I can probably catch him. This fiscal consideration compensates for Friday’s full moon. I am sure the student expected his boxers to stay up when his pants fell down, but he did not factor in tired elastic and the law of gravity.  He denied it. However, I not only know a comma splice when I see one, I also know a gluteal cleft when I see one.

The young ladies at this particular high school know how to keep their pants up as they are more concerned with lowering their necklines. As a substitute teacher, I appreciate the distraction they provide. The more boys staring at breasts in a state of shock and awe, the fewer discipline problems I need to deal with. I have also learned to let sleeping students snooze, or as in a recent case, sleep under a lab table. A comatose student is not a discipline problem. Friday morning, I had eight sleeping students, most at their desks, one under the lab table. He used his back pack for a pillow, an idea that did not occur to me until my third international trip. He is failing physics, but he will survive Third World guest houses without a sprained neck.

The students at this high school are well groomed as most young ladies come to class with a mirror, comb, brush, complete set of make up, nail polish, and remover. But can they remember to bring a #2 pencil? Oh, please, that is just too much to carry. A pencil? For class? How Leave it to Beaver. No matter what the subject, the learning activity is grooming. Grooming occurs alone or in groups. As this is an absorbing, quiet activity, I have learned to let the groomers choose purple eye shadow over a test grade and lipstick over a viable future.

Parting students from i-Pods and cell phones is as painful as performing surgery without anesthetic. I cannot bear the trauma and simply call security to amputate these vital body parts.

All and all, I thought I had come to teams with today’s youth and am aggressively pursuing dual citizenship before these kids reach voting age. Yes, the Mafiosi are bad, but they have manners.

And then, she flossed.

Her teeth.

In science class.

It could have been a teaching moment. I could have pointed out that thanks to gravity, dental gunk fell on her desk instead of wafting around the room.

I should be grateful for gravity.

But, no. I am grateful that this week I am teaching at another high school. The students are spirited, but they are respectful and someone took the time to teach them manners. Some learning goes on. 

They remind me why I wanted to be a teacher.


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One Response to “FLOSSING”

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