Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Why life is like high school

I was substitute teaching yesterday for a very creative lady, kids love her, and I love subbing for her. I don't think I've ever met her in person but her classroom always looks like her brain blew up and every happy, pretty thing, along with all the thoughts in her head and wishes for world peace, and love of travel and children and books came swirling madly about the room until their momentum subsided and they gently floated down onto any random place.

Things in this classroom are always lying about and I am nosy, not to mention whenever I sub I conduct a search to see if the teacher stashes snacks somewhere. Anyway, I came upon a note to her from another teacher, apparently in response to a request for input on materials for teaching a unit on dystopia. He makes some suggestions about things he has found that worked, but here's what's bugging me: he suggested showing the film Brazil to the AP kids, and Gattaca to the others. Now truthfully, I only vaguely recall both of these films, but I know Brazil is the cultier, artsier one, and Gattaca is the commercial one with marketable stars.

In a post several months ago, I lamented that some kids seemed to be "ghettoized" for being a little more rebellious into classes that not only get them to examine their attitudes, but make wonderful suggestions for entry- level jobs in places like bakeries and amusement parks. I don't think this Brazil/Gattaca deal is quite the same thing, but it bothers me in the same place in my gut. I suspect most HS English teachers were probably AP types. This note suggested a rather condescending attitude to me...only the ones like "us" are going to "get it":" we'd better dumb it down for the rest of 'em.

I'm understanding more and more why life is pretty much like high school.

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