Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cure for the Pompous... Busted by a teenager.

If ever there lived a cure for the pompous, it dwells inside a small-town high school.  I never fail to get a big laugh from my students' perceptions of others.  Sometimes they are dead on, right on the money.  They are able to nail a fraud on the spot.  One time a long time ago I had a student (who now teaches in the same system) who called a grade school teacher out when I wanted to assign faculty contacts.  She insisted she was not going to be the student/faculty liason for a certain Mrs. XXXX...  Mrs. XXXX was known to be a woman who was kind, quiet...  not mean.  I asked this young girl why she chose not to work with the famous Mrs. XXXX.  "Because you all think she is so sweet.  Well, she is all icing, and there is not one drop of cake underneath!"  was her reply.  Sadly, that was true.  Poor Mrs. XXXX lived a life being the kindest she could be and not hurting a soul, but it was all skin deep.  Inside it seemed she was tired, a little angry, and very deprived.  Busted by a teenager.

I have seen girls spot a fake bag, nail a heavy layer of makeup over blemishes, sniff out a batch of expensive perfume squirted over old body odor...  you know the rest...  school kids can usually see to the core, and amazingly if not actually advisably, they will blurt out their observation "in front of God and everybody," as my grandma used to say.  Busted by a teenager.

Keen perception aside, sometimes my students are ignorant about something.  Sometimes I have had a guest from the state department come in and decide to "eruditely" educate in the Socratic manner...  Uh, what?  My kids usually pull no punches and come out smelling like --  not roses, but toeses...  After the guest leaves with her perception of the level of knowlege of my young people, I hear the students say defiantly, "Boy, she was so ignorant!"  haha..  To be smart to a young person, I think it best to appear to be learning right with them or to  actually remember what it was like to NOT know what they are learning...  It is a turn off to be so smarty pants that they feel bad about themselves.  Kids won't do that unless it is to their benefit.

Teenagers are able to determine when a teacher is faking it...  No snow jobs with them.  We might as well give them a lab day or a free day as give them some kind of unrelated, obscure research.  For one, they can find anything on the internet, bless its soul.  For two, they just know.  Why mess with that?  Busted by a teenager..

A lot of truth lives inside the fairy tale legend of "The Emperor's New Clothes."  People do notice.  Some people do lie to get in "good" with the boss.  And a kid rarely plays that game.  Should they?  Possibly.  Definitely they should be kinder, less blurt-y. Definitely they will learn in their later years that they do not know it all (hopefully they will learn this.) But you have to know where you stand in this world.  I would prefer to be loved.  I also would prefer to know if I am not...  (in time to avert getting stabbed in the back.)  Just saying.

LOLcat pictures are my new love.  I collect them on my iPad and send my son five a day sometime late a night...  Then we laugh about them.  IDK...  I'm getting lax in my old days because they're cute. The spelling doesn't bother me a bit.  Hey, I've had worse turned in for a grade....and they are kitties, after all.


Becky K. said...

Those pictures are THE best. Totally enjoyed them. And I agree about teenagers. When teaching at our Home school co-op I thoroughly enjoyed the teens in the vocal ensemble after I got over being scared of them. That seems to be the first tactic...
As I became myself with them they responded beautifully. We had a wonderful time together.
You have shared much wisdom here. Wisdom gained from years spent with these interesting creatures...teenagers.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Kids are very perceptive! They truly are. THose kitty photos are hysterical! They are making me smile!!!

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