November 30, 2001 at 2:14 am #44052
kind of awkward to talk about myself to total strangers, but what the hell! can be cathartic to put it all in perspective.
i guess to start out, i was painfully shy in high school and not very cool. i was always amazed at the kids that smoked, did drugs, and raised hell for the teachers. i remember a time when i saw these two groups of two guys (four total) playing chicken (like they were on each other’s shoulders trying to knock each other off) in the middle of the hallway. i knew at that moment that that was the group i wanted to be a part of. the kind of people that didn’t give a shit what other people thought of them. i gave a shit for quite a while before that and it was a real drag. anyway, the ringleader of the group took a liking to me because we had sort of grown up together but were not really friends. he sort of razzed me in junior high, but would do weird things like call me and talk to me for long periods of time. he was one of those secret geniuses that everyone writes off as a dumbshit.
he had a dino jr. cd in biology class one day and i was fascinated by the cover. it was where you been. i borrowed it that day and have been totally obsessed since. (just like all of you)
i went to a really shitty preppy college (i’d rather not even say the name because you’d all think i was a jerk) and i teach high school english at a catholic school. it’s really weird what i do every day. i’m still the same guy, but now i’m some sort of leader to like a hundred kids. i’m not catholic or anything, so i don’t see eye to eye with them on much. they have crazy thoughts like all people that are pro-choice are pro-murder. i can’t argue TOO much because we have to be a pro-choice school.
the kids do like and i think respect me becuase i don’t spout the same bullshit that all the other teachers do. i have a pretty simple formula. 1. speak to them as though they are human beings and not cattle 2. laugh and make them laugh at least ten times during every class (i’ve even resorted to kung fu demonstrations) 3. relate every topic to a simpsons eposode so it actually makes sense to them 4. take their problems and the shit their dealing with seriously (i know life has gotten a whole lot EASIER since i’ve left high school.)
i guess i’m happier than i’ve ever been with what i’m doing. i feel like i’m doing something good for the world, even if it’s only for a hundred students a year (and only maybe ten that will actually take me seriously). i get sad, though, when i see all the horrible things that young people are doing to themselves. it’s even worse because i did all the horrible things they are doing and i want to tell them not to, but it’s almost as if i’m glad i did because i learned from them.
this girl wrote in a paper the other day that she thinks about suicide a lot and all her friends are cutting themselves and doing drugs. they are all alienating her because she doesn’t join in when they do drugs. god, these young people are just dying for someone to listen to their problems, and since i’m relatively on their level they feel like they can tell me. but what the hell do you say to that? i have to report all that stuff to proper authorites becuase i could get sued and lose my certificate and all if anything bad happened. sorry state of affairs, but i’ve got to cover my ass. i talked to her, but got all muck mouthed. i only sleep a couple hours a night thinking about all this stuff. it might not sound like that big of a deal to you, but you don’t know her face and how smart she is. that stuff is depressing, but the fun stuff definitely outweighs it.
now that i’ve depressed everyone (sorry! [img]images/smiles/icon_sad.gif[/img] ) i’ll stop rambling. i wanted to be a writer before i became a teacher, so i could go on for days. does anyone like to read? i’m teaching catcher in the rye right now and would love to hear your thoughts on the book!
i’ve seen j three times in the last year and look forward to the show in chicago on dec 1. the first time i saw him post dino jr. i thought he was only going to play new stuff. i talked to someone (i think they mentioned this site –it was the show at the metro?) and they said he was going to play old stuff. i got totally blitzed and could hardly stand, but i put myself in the front and awaited what i had been missing for about four years. he opened up with thumb and i was one of about three people jumping up and down. i know it’s obnoxious, but i was practically crawling out of my skin. and anyway, wouldn’t it be more fun if everyone did that? i pogoed the whole show and eventually had to make a trip to the bathroom to throw up. but i didn’t make it. i ran to the garbage can during the encore break and started throwing up sideways into one of those cans with the flap lid thingies. one woman kept yelling "take the lid off, for the love of god take the lid off." this other heavy metal looking guy with stringy long hair that obviously spent the whole show in front of the bar yelled "fuckin’ j mascis!" to me. it was totally embarrasing. to top it all off j had just began playing severed lips. a very spiritual moment for me (a little different than those of you that wrote about hearing "alone," but along the same lines.) i ran to the front after "clensing my insides" and jumped up and down to the closer "freak scene." all in all a crazy night, but i do remember it and it is my favorite j memory.
god, sorry to have gone on that long, but i’m a real speedy typer and type faster than i think. hope that made sense, but i doubt it.
tbNovember 30, 2001 at 3:04 am #61169
I don’t think we knew each other before hand in any way, but we have a lot of similarities, it seems beyond backyards and scholastic preference. However, I was one of the stoner kids and still was not very cool. I fit nowhere at anytime at all. High school social structure with all of its cliques and ascription-based nuances was a major pain in this ass. I knew nothing then about why people congealed around one another based on such petty "qualifications". Nice to know that end of things apparently has not changed much [img]images/smiles/icon_sad.gif[/img] .
My high school lost 3/4 of its original class from 1986-1990 due to dropouts, expulsions, murders, suicides, gang violence etc. I can’t say I was a saint. I can say I had a "broken coper" and did what I had to do. However, like St Francis of Assisi, one must suffer greatly in order to eventually contribute something worthwhile to the world, be it aesthetic or otherwise. Often, the benificiaries are not wholly ready or deserving of such gifts, expecially when introduced by someone whose perspective delivers the message, but not in tune with the status quo.
My hope is to do about what you are doing. Perhaps I will end up in private school teaching or public. I am even willing to try alternative schools. My support goes out to any group of people that mobilize themselves above and around the moneyed interest of school boards and its participants whose concerns lie primarily with balancing the budget and advocating a tracking system instead of striving to accomodate students from all races and economic backgrounds. Nice to hear this isn’t changing either [img]images/smiles/icon_mad.gif[/img] !!!
I haven’t read on Salinger yet [img]images/smiles/icon_redface.gif[/img] He and Hawthorne are soon to be hit upon. Have read many other classics, will mention them at some time.
Again, nice to hear from you.
[ November 30, 2001: Message edited by: Half-Man ]</p>November 30, 2001 at 3:33 am #61170
Thanks for the intro, seems you have a lot more than Mascis in common with people here…always cool to find that out!!!
Catholic school, I know about that…but it was kinda backwards to yours. I went to catholic school but inside wasn’t a catholic…if that makes any sense. Although there were not any cool teachers, lots of nuns and priests though [img]images/smiles/icon_eek.gif[/img]
I work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, so yeah I know how depressing all those stories can be!!! Hard not to take those things home sometimes [img]images/smiles/icon_sad.gif[/img] I think what you did talking to her was great, most kids in that situation give out signals about what they are planning to do so you are definitely front line in helping kids out. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among youth…sad fact. You would be shocked to know how many kids cut, very scary but to some of them its the only way they know how to cope. You definitely did the right thing…talking to her and reporting it to the authorities. I have been in the same situation of reporting disclosures of all kinds to our local child and family services, hard to do but necessary 2ndary to legal issues and protection from some pretty horrifying situations. But I always tell the person I will be doing it, they sometimes are upset but with some talk/reframing of the situation they understand…eventually/hopefully. Are there any local teen crisis centers you can refer this girl to, in our schools here we have started a mental health liason program…kids are referred from within the school to a crisis counsellor. If you need any web links or book recommendations on the topic please feel free to contact me…I have a million of them.
Again thanks for the intro, like I said you have a lot in common with more than a few on the board [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
AllisonNovember 30, 2001 at 3:23 pm #61171
…hey throbby brady…welcome…its the first time i am hearing from you…but as half-man i have similarities with you too!
…you know when i was a kid i wanted to be a doctor …then i wanted to be a teacher…something stopped me…anyway for the last five years i have been working at a pharmacy…and you can imagine what i am dealing with every day…cancer death drugs…i guess its nice to help…but its all you can do…
…i had drug-experiance…it wasnt easy…now i know that no words can help if you dont want them to…
…i just wanna say…i know how you feel about that girl …but the choise is hers…we ve got to find the strength…and this power is inside us…we just have to open our minds and deside…we want to live or die?
…living without love -or at least the kind of love that we need-drives us to suicide solutions…most of the times …we have forgotten to love ourselves!
…i guess every sensitive kid goes through this situation(and not only kid…think about kurt cobain)…we have to learn to deal with our emotions love ourselves and learn to live with passion…otherwise…you are dead!November 30, 2001 at 5:40 pm #61172
K7 Rides AgainParticipant
Welcome to the boards! Lord only knows there sure are a lot of people in/going into the teaching profession here! Maybe you all should start a teacher’s union here or something! [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img]December 1, 2001 at 5:01 am #61173
~welcome aboard brady~
Catcher in the Rye really messed with my neuroses…but then Salinger is a pretty neurotic guy. Still alive, if I’m not mistaken? Hiding out somewhere? I remember hearing recently that an old girlfriend of his was auctioning off his love letters to her.
My favorite Salinger, of the few that I’ve read, was in "Nine Stories"; I think it was called "Daphne De Maurier’s Blue Period". Less depressing than Catcher, and (in my opinion) more sophisticated.
Congratulations to all you guys on your teaching pursuits/successes. I myself am a casualty of public education, & it is so refreshing to see creative and inspired people going into that field (especially language arts…way too little of that these days).
I majored in English in hs and college, because I love the language, but found that (for some reason) my English classes were the ones I enjoyed the least. And also, everyone assumed that I wanted to teach, because that was my major.
It’s tough to be a high school teacher, much less a good one, when you’re surrounded by so many people who don’t take the profession seriously.
I wish you all the best of luck…and as I said before, I think it’s RAD that the punk generation is now going into the classroom to teach! All my high school teachers were victims of soft rock.
The best to you, & again, welcome,
RosaDecember 3, 2001 at 11:35 am #61174
TB-cool that there`s some teachers who want to help their students,not play classroom tyrant.I`ve had some good teachers and some bad teachers,it`s the ones that made the students laugh and treated them like human beings that I have good memories of.
Rick Rizzo from Eleventh Dream Day I heard is a high school teacher in Chicago,I don`t know where he teaches at,he`s been a longtime musician on the Chicago scene,cool that he`s a teacher.December 3, 2001 at 1:18 pm #61175
Hey everybody –
Just wanted to say only three months to train to be a teacher over there?
It’s taking me a year to get my initial certification – i’ve then got to do a probation year before I’m qualified. All this after a three year degree….
The money for teaching is nor great but so far i have found it this best thing I’ve ever done – so much job satisfaction
JohnDecember 3, 2001 at 4:40 pm #61176
Sounds like you have the same kinda program as here in Canada, 5 years total thru university.
Knew there were more teachers out there [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] Fingers crossed they provided some mental health/crisis intervention skills in the british program. I know they added some to the canadian program…at least thats what I’ve been told.
Allison [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]December 5, 2001 at 8:37 am #61177
Yeah there’s a lot of emphasis over here on inclusion. Meaning that kids with all sorts of difficulties should be educated in mainstream schools.
Its something I’ve yet to get my head around really. I agree with the concept – it’s just very difficult when you are new to a class of 30 kids to try and differentiate and provide different provision for individuals and groups within that class.
Also within a year’s teaching diploma there is a hell of a lot to learn so its difficult picking it all up.
The one thing i can say is that teaching is a challenge like i’ve never faced before – and very very enjoyable. I’ve also met some of the best people both students on my course and already teaching within schools. Makes me wonder why I never did it before!
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