Friday, May 12, 2006

You'll go A.P.E. over this.

Tonight's the night. It's Prom Night! But I'm not even going to get into all the usual noise about prom. You know what I'm talking about--being amazed that your students could be even less focused in class than they usually are--or, how the ridiculous "students skipping Monday because they're at a vacation condo" scenario is being replaced by a stupefying "Monday and Tuesday" version--or, the money spent on a single couple for prom equals 9 hours of my undergrad, which I had to borrow and am still paying off.

Believe it or not, that's not why I'm writing. I want to talk about the school's after prom extravaganza or "A.P.E." for short. It's a social event that is held at the school by parent volunteers. It lasts all night long and its purpose is to create a safe environment for the students so that they don't endanger themselves with underage drinking and whatnot. I hate to break it to the volunteer parents who run the thing, but what do you think the kids are doing when they go off to condos?

Entering the event, the students can buy Baron Bucks to use at different stations. Let's see, there's the blackjack table, Texas Hold 'Em table, roulette wheel...

Let me get this straight. In order to keep kids from drinking, we're going to have them gamble? Ah, there's nothing like replacing one vice with another.

I wonder how the rest of that planning meeting went...

"But, how will we get them to stop gambling?"

"I know, we'll give them cigarettes."

"And then pornography for the smoking."

Heads nod in agreement, until a valid point is made.

"But I like a stiff drink while I look at my pornography."

There's silence as they rack their brains, until there is a snap of the fingers.

"We'll just increase the gambling!"

Deafening cheers erupt.

Where was I? Oh, the actual night. They can also use the Baron Bucks to enter a raffle with endless prizes of PlayStations, laptops, flatscreens, MP3's; the list goes on. Can someone enlighten me why an 18-year-old gets a plasma television, yet the closest I'll get to plasma is selling my own blood?

The final prize of the night is a brand new Ford Mustang. Which, if you've seen the student parking lot lately, then that's more like a white elephant gift.

Maybe I could have a better understanding if I actually got to see the whole set-up. I can't, though, because five minutes after the final bell today, they will kick teachers out of the building, so the school can be turned into a casino. I was literally escorted out last year. How dare I try to stay and grade. Didn't I realize that they were trying to build a hedonistic playground downstairs? I'm pretty sure that we teachers at SLHS are one step away from eating our lunches in the school's kitchen.

However, the joke's on them. I'll get to see everything on Tuesday, when the kids get back and are looking at their prom photos instead of doing my assignment--or Wednesday, whenever.

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