What I Learned in School Today
At 51, I would think that I have one up on the kids. Not in the school that I work in.
In alternative education, you hear EVERYTHING. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, rap, blues, more sex and more drugs, it is a constant edu-ma-cation.
Today I had a young woman come in and say: "so and so (name deleted) totally freaks me out". "Why?" I query. She replies: "oh he sits in the back of the bus and asks questions like do my curtains match my carpet?".
I look at her, and ask "what is wrong with that?", as I figure that the person asking the question is anal retentive and try and imagine what their home looks like.
The kids AND the staff are staring at me in a quizzical kind of manner. In my naivety, I say "what is wrong with that?". A twitter goes around the room and they look at me like OH MY GOD, WHAT PLANET IS SHE ON?.
I sense the suppressed laughter and know that there is some deep hidden meaning to this question, but at the end of a long week, I cannot figure out what it might be.
Again I say, "what is wrong with that?".
A student takes pity on me and says, "aw Patti, you know, are you a true redhead?".
I instantly know what they mean. I don't blush, as after working there for 17 years I have heard it all.
"OH.........." I reply, thinking about the same question asked by a good friend some million years ago...and the answer I gave her, and the nickname I earned.
I thank them for the lesson for the week, and think back on all the other terms and words I have come to learn...chode, tea bagging, and probably many more that have now become a standard part of my vocabulary.
A teaching assistant reminds me that anytime I don't know what the kids are talking about, I should go to urbandictionary.com and research it.
I am still chuckling to myself, feeling priveledged that I have been let into their teenage world, and amazed at the scope of what I still have yet to learn, and grin knowing how much I love them and consider myself a lucky woman that I get to work with such amazing young people, in spite of the challenges and awkward moments!
Patti O Learner