Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A 3rd World of Difference

There was an assembly at school today. It featured guests from the Congo, specifically, a dance troupe from a school there. For a portion of a year, they travel the world raising money for their institution—books, lunches, whatnot. This week they’ll be at the area convention center displaying native routines and thus, culture. They’re at SLHS today to provide a taste of what the show would be like, in hopes of drumming up some business.

Even as a hobo teacher, I appreciate my situation and I need to be reminded of that from time to time. These Congo kids did just the ticket. Here are these kids who hustle like crazy, leave their families for a good portion of the year, and perform in front of strangers time after time. They do this because they value their education and are determined to do whatever it takes. I just feel so fortunate that we don’t have to embark on such an odyssey so the kids can learn.

But wait! Me, being me, I do have a complaint.

It’s my freakin’ students. Here was this dance troupe twisting, twirling, and flying through the air; and my kids couldn’t have cared less. I scanned the room as the show was going on, and they were doing everything else but showing interest in the program. Girls were fixated with their compacts, trying to get that just slutty enough shade of blue eye shadow. Boys were drooling over the girls’ cast away copies of Seventeen. Some were sleeping—while drums were being beaten!

Can’t they be freakin’ big girls and boys for freakin’ 30 minutes!

The Congo kids would be considerate if the roles were reversed. Of course, I’m not sure what skills my kids would be displaying:

--Wearing jeans mid-thigh

--Getting the curve on the bill of a baseball cap just right

--Pitching a fit when you get a Lexus for your sixteenth birthday, when you really wanted a Mercedes

--Calling everyone you hate a “fag”

--Propping up a book and trying to sleep behind it

--Telling your mom that you’re staying at your friend’s house, your friend telling their mom that they are staying at your house, then you guys go and do God knows what
Whew, that’s enough ranting.

Anyway, if these kids come to your town, check them out. They're great.

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