Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just Another Day at the Office...

It's been awhile since I wrote a real blog post about my life, so I'm going to write one now, but not about what has happened in the past month. I mean, lots of fun things have happened. Here are the two big ones:
I'm Cool Aunt Lauren! Meet Chloe Aniston. 
Reliving the college years at Nicole and Greg's WEDDING!
But that is not what I am going to write about. No, instead, I am going to tell you a little story about my day yesterday and today.

Yesterday, a 7th grade girl I am working with told me that she thinks it is fine that she talks back to her teachers and sees no reason to stop. She said "They're not my parents, they shouldn't be telling me what to do." I asked if her mom thinks it is okay when she gets suspended or in trouble for being disrespectful. She said no, but her mom thinks the teacher should ask her nicely to stop talking instead of yelling at her. I asked if she would stop talking for the rest of class if the teacher asked her once, nicely, to please stop talking. Her response was: "Hell no, if my friends start talking to me of course I'm gonna talk back to them." I asked if she understood why the teacher has now resorted to yelling at her and kicking her out of class. She had no reply. I asked what she wanted to do with her life. She said be a pediatrician. I asked how she was going to get in to med school with Ds and Fs, poor conduct, and a record of disciplinary action, to which she replied, "It's not fair if they don't take bad kids, just cause I'm disrespectful don't mean I ain't smart." I said I know she is smart, which is why I'm confused about why she doesn't want to change her behavior, because respect = not getting kicked out = learning more = good conduct and grades = med school. She rolled her eyes and had no reply.

Today, the 6th graders were put on silent lunch because they were so bad in the cafeteria yesterday. This means they were not to speak AT ALL for the 30 minute lunch period. I am not at the school to discipline kids. I am there to be an advocate for them. So I hated it when the principal in charge of lunch asked me, over the microphone, to send any child who was talking over to him to be written up. He even said "no second chances." So, I walk past one table, where some kids are talking, stop, and look at them. They all stopped talking. I said, "PLEASE don't talk anymore. I don't want to get you in trouble, you know that, but I'll get in trouble, too, if I don't listen to Mr. So and So. So please, here's your chance, I know you can do it." As I'm walking away, the one kid goes "I don't fucking care! Hahahah" so I turn around. He goes "Oh sorry! I didn't know you were still there!" I said, "That's not the point! You're not supposed to be talking, and DEFINITELY not supposed to be throwing the f-word around. That's not nice! Don't let me see you talking again, okay man?" And he said okay. 

When I walk over there later, I see him whispering. He stops, the girls all laugh, he starts laughing, and I say "DUDE. This is your last chance! Come on, don't make me do it." He apologized and said he wouldn't do it again. Ten minutes later, I'm walking by, and he's blatantly talking, saying "These motherfuckers blah blah blah fuck them blah blah." Everyone at the table stops laughing. I sit down next to him. He's cracking up. I told him, "I was trying to look out for you, man. I gave you three chances. You know I don't want to do this, but you're going to have to come up front with me. You can't be talking, especially cursing." He pretended he didn't know what I was talking about. I told him I was going to have to get the AP if he wouldn't just come up with me, which would make it look even worse for him, because then he's disobeying authority.

His response? He gives me the finger and says he doesn't fucking care.

Okay then. So I walk up to the AP. When we turn around, the kid is walking up to the front, flipping both middle fingers at me, plugging his ears with his middle fingers going "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU I DON'T FUCKING CARE YOU MOTHERFUCKER" as I am trying to explain that I did not want him to get in trouble, but he took advantage of my niceness.

The point of these stories is that we seriously can NOT keep enabling our kids. I'm guilty of it. I enabled that kid by giving him chances. A lot of parents are guilty of it, like that mom who doesn't think her daughter deserves to get disciplined for being continuously disruptive in class. 

When I was in school (here I go, sounding like a grumpy old lady...), there were very few kids who would have the audacity to speak to an adult the way these kids speak to their teachers, and me, every single day. I'm a motherfucker, really? Why, because I tried to be on your side, you took advantage of it, and then got in to trouble for it, and you knew you were in the wrong? I can almost guarantee his mom will think it was silly that he got in trouble and complain to the school that her child was not allowed to talk in lunch. She will probably also defend the fact that he was using the f word, because "My son would never say something like that unless he had a good reason."

Things aren't the same as they were even half a generation ago. Kids now are exposed to so much more violence, profanity, nudity, sex, all the things we were not exposed to when we were growing up. I am the last person to be an advocate for sheltering kids from the world. They need to know what is out there. But what they also need is good guidance so they can develop a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of self-respect for that matter. That starts at home, with the family.

We complain that this country is going to shit, but who is going to fix it? The future generations. And the future generations will not be able to fix it unless WE raise them to be a force of good in the world.

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