Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stop. Drop. Roll. Blog.

Today I was happy that I had standardized testing. I know what you're thinking, "That doesn't happen." or, "Joke?" Well you're sort of right. The alternative to the super fun PLAN test was the ultra super fun Names assembly. I had to go to that last year. There was a lot of group hugging and talk circles. I don't like either of those things. In fact the only good part was at the end when we got lunch boxes and I traded somebody white cheddar popcorn for a juice box. Unfortunately most assemblies don't end in juice.

The assembly thing started way back in preschool. Next to pamphlets,  assemblies are considered the best way to tell someone what to do if they're on fire. See, from preschool to about 6th grade assemblies are terrifying. There's a lot of "This will happen to you." and "Died." I remember after a particularly brutal one on fire safety in kindergarden, I gathered all of my most special things (stuffed animals) and put them in a satchel (garbage bag) and waited by the front door for my house to catch fire so I would have an easy exit.

These days students have a love/hate relationship with assemblies. We love that we don't have class, but we hate that we have assemblies. I guess school officials decided that teenagers have grasped the concept of fire emergencies but need the internet explained. It's stopped being "Died" and become "Suspended from school with mild consequences." A lot of it is really helpful information, I'll pass along some pointers.

1. That sweet guy you met in a chat room who really understands you and wants to meet in the forest?- Call "To Catch a Predator."
2. Think your new profile picture with a gun makes you look edgy?- So does the police.
3. Internet bully someone?- Prepare to be suspended.
4. On fire?- I have no clue what you should do if you're on fire.

I dunno why they even try. The people in charge of these assemblies don't even rap. Kids today get offended when you assume they have a myspace page, logically they don't like taking internet advice. It's a lot of common sense, like in Elementary school. However, in Elementary school we had songs and puppets, now we just have policemen or ladies who wear lots of flowing clothes and art glass.

 At the last one we all had to sign a pledge to be allies to victims of name calling. My favorite question all year was, "Are we legally required to keep this pledge because I can't have that stress." And they think we kids need help.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Teacher Profile: The Pal

Imagine if the mom in Mean Girls suddenly took an interest in Science.

Don't want to? Me neither, but I'm forced to see the horrible results every day. On the first day of school Ms. Pal handed out her cellphone number. She told us if there was "a really nasty science prob we needed help with" just to drop her a text. Reading between the lines this translated to, "Please call me and ask me to see a movie with you and your friends." Now, call me a traditionalist but I'm disarmed whenever my teachers show more skin than I do. Also when they wear gold toenail polish. I observed this last piece of information when, after telling a charming story about the effects of a chemical spill, my teacher waggled her foot at us. The next day of class I found my teacher sitting at her desk surrounded by the male students of my class. Just before I sat down I heard, "You're lactose intolerant? That's so cool! I have a cousin who's lactose intolerant too!" Huh, since when is the inability to digest dairy products cool?