Monday, May 15, 2006

Yes, I know, it's been a week without a post and I've been a bad, bad blogger. Spank me later.

I've done a good amount of griping in the past about the random schoolkids I run into while I'm at the movies or the mall or Starbucks in the middle of a weekday... you know, when a young professional like me is supposed to be at work. The middle of the day, from when General Hospital comes on until Judge Judy is done belittling poor people, should be just as adults-only as that weird "video" store with cardboard over its front windows. Not that I behave any differently around the little bastards — like, there's nothing more fun than teaching a six-year-old the c-word or telling a story about your first cunnilingus disaster while there's a gawky kid within earshot — but I just have a low tolerance for their puerile shit, like their ringtones and their Kristen Cavalleri (seriously, children, merely existing and living in Laguna Beach doesn't count as talent!), and I figure the amount of time they spend getting an education now will someday correlate nicely with their productivity as my slaves once I declare myself world dictator.

I'm not at all bitter about having parents and teachers that made me attend school five whole days a week, every week, nine months, year after year, learning for the hundredth time how to solve a quadratic equation or circling all the pronouns in a sentence and then drawing arrows pointing to their antecedents. Boy, that was certainly time well-spent, cause it's pretty much every day that I graph polynomials and I'm like, "Thank you, Miss Tanzola, for writing binomials on an overhead projector because without your wise math tutelage... oh, wait, I own a fifty-dollar calculator that pretty much makes you and your slide rule obsolete."

But I was driving by North Plainfield High the other day around lunchtime — I'm such a dork; we played them in Science Bee, and possibly football — and there's all these students milling outside the campus like ants, in their cars or walking home down Grove Street, and four years of my own micromanaging, condescending teacher demons overwhelmed my emotions: Did I go to the only fucking high school in the country where they actually mandated their students' presence from the Pledge of Allegiance until the 2:30 bell? We weren't allowed to leave the school or go out to our cars or anything. I don't even think they'd let us outside if the building was burning down... like some dude with long hair and black painted fingernails might light up a cigarette or something and then the whole universe will explode.

Not that I begrudge the kids for wanting to be kids; I begrudge the adults for either indulging their callow fantasies or going off the other end of the rocker, treating the kids like mindless automatons who'll break down and start spraypainting the bathroom stalls and stealing speed limit signs if they're not constantly being supervised and pointlessly engaged in rote memorization. There's something called moderation, and I've got a feeling if teachers and parents and those other trusted adults treated the kids somewhere in between juvenile deliquents and like every day's their super-sweet sixteen, we might still have a chance at raising a society that doesn't bow down to the altar of narcissism, materialism, and solipsism.


DL said...

I know what you mean, when I interviewed the prinicipal for the newspaper he was went on about how people getting to school late was the biggest problem by far that the school was facing. Remember how they changed the attendance rules so that after a little while if you got to school late you'd get less punishment if you just turned around and went home? SPFHS really did not have their priorities straight and from what I hear it's just gotten worse.