Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In The Know

Ah the literature of the Revolutionary War period—there’s nothing more frustrating to teach. I get plenty of, “This is English class, not history.” My typical reaction to such a statement is that literature is a response to life. To understand the time period is to understand the response. This time, though, this particular student’s Tantrum-Tron 3000, after hearing my stance, got set to “Tirade.”

I’ve never understood why teenagers bitch and moan so much. For all the demographics out there, they seem to have the least to worry about. They have incredible sex drives. They’re probably the fittest they’ll ever be. Plus they’re easily amused as displayed through their tireless enjoyment of fart jokes. But still, there’s all that bitching. And no, I haven’t forgotten what it is like to be a teenager with all that angst percolating inside. Actually, I vividly remember choosing to embrace my teenager years because the way I looked at it is if it were a couple hundred years earlier while I was a teenager, say during Colonial America, then I would have been shipped off to some stranger to learn how to smith silver teapots as a career. So hey, only having to be home by 10 pm would be like hitting the lotto.

A note to all of you reading and thinking I’m contradicting myself because all I do is bitch on this blog: I don’t bitch. I vent. There’s a difference. Venting is waiting for a time and place. Bitching is that knee-jerk response and teens are all knees. And jerks.

“I’m not a whiner. You don’t even know me!” confused me when it came out of her mouth. I’m not even sure where that came from. I am sure, though, that I hate that saying. What does that even mean? No, I haven’t enjoyed the bonding process of holding back her hair while she puked up peppermint Schnapps, but she’s got some tell-tale signs that she may be a whiner (her word, not mine).

Just like I don’t know how the sun works but I know it is hot, there are some clues to her being a whiner (again, her word). For example, assigned seating doesn’t make “any freakin’ sense” after being placed on the opposite side of the room from her best friend. Or due dates are “retarded” the day after a Kings of Leon concert. And of course, you can’t expect a student to do any studying when dad bought you the wrong color Ford Mustang.

I’ve endured all of that and I don’t even know her. So much for ignorance being bliss.

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