Advertisements on buses? Wait. We already do that. City buses. This makes sense to me. Like everything else in America isn’t a moving billboard…except for those that are stationary I suppose. But school buses? Doesn’t anyone else see the cry for help here? Shouldn’t a school bus full of children off to school be advertisement enough? NO??? God help us all. Schools are so broke that they have to reach out to advertisers to buy space on a school bus (that’s funny enough) to help raise money to keep the damn buses running…and the controversy is whether or not the ads should be in black and white or color to be more lucrative…I’m sure there are segregation/racist jokes in there somewhere but I have more tact than that people…really. This is a sad day for education. This, in my opinion, is not pop culture meets education, it’s no money + the necessity of education = plain and simple desperation. But I guess, dance monkey dance, do what you have to do, because goodness knows that buying space on a school bus to advertise for God knows what makes more sense than to stop skirting the fucking issue at hand and provide the money where it WILL ALWAYS BE NEEDED, NECESSARY AND BEST SPENT! Alright. I’m done. Sorry. Okay one more…seriously then I’m done. Perhaps I should make a paper sign that says not “Kick me” but “Tastes Great, Less Filling” and stick it on my back as I walk around because I’m a broke ass teacher and student..would you give me money to support “the cause”? Oh..I’m advertising beer...not myself. Deal breaker?
My goodness. Why not just call it what it is: psychological tactics able to subvert an individual's control of his own thinking, behavior, emotions, or decisions. Wait. Let’s just insert ad here instead:
Dear White and Walker: I feel as though I’ve been having this conversation for the past 9 months. It haunts me. Kid culture is often scrutinized, deemed as illegitimate, etc. but honestly; it may be the secret to lasting educational success..if we ever give kids some credit. Instead of trying to stop this irrepressible force (remember Sisyphus?) let’s meet them half way. Let’s see…engaging students and making text more accessible/relevant by reading Poe’s The Raven only, or pairing the text with watching The Simpsons “The Raven” Treehouse of Horror, Season 2: Episode 7F04. Hmm…I hope I get this answer right.
We can either ignore, feign knowledge of, simply close our eyes and cover our ears to the fact that kids say shit, fuck, and damn, or we can bring in a copy of the latest and greatest rap song (oxy moron?) and dissect why an artist felt the usage of selected words to be effective or necessary, what they accomplish, how they convey meaning, intended audience, etc. Let’s tally shall we? Critical thinking…check. Validation of students and their culture…check. Textual analysis…check. New/critical literacy…check. Stepping/thinking outside the box/comfort zone for everyone..check. Making lessons relevant and connective to lives…check. Totally engaged/interested students…check. Coolest fucking teacher award…check. Awesome. Whooda thunk Tupac could have provided all of the above? Nah. These kids would rather read Faust.
Okay, okay. I didn’t stumble upon an English major, it wasn’t accidental, nor was my desire to become a secondary English teacher. I heart the cannon. It’s just that I am also a student (please don’t read to me from your PowerPoint), have been one for 20 years almost non-stop (please show me and do something new..I’m dying here), and I’m a realist. Noooo. I am. My favorite book is Moby Dick. When most people hear that they vomit a little bit in their mouths. It’s okay..I get it’s not for everyone. Different strokes for different folks I think it goes. I realize that not all of my students are gonna be like yay! 300 pages of whaling! even though there is so much more going on in that book than harpooning…I just get that there has to be more for some kids. I am willing to accept that not all students in my class are going to be English majors, and that some are going to downright detest it. I cannot brush this off as simple ignorance (or can I? ☺ No.) I have to reach out and pull those other kids in. I’m not saying down with the cannon and staple curricula..I’m sayin get with the times folks. Deal with it and be smart about it. Play some Tupac. Show some Simpsons. Please. I believe the money word is access. Cha ching.
This goes for toys too. Although I am an adult..I suppose…I still am very proud of my collection of marbles and bouncy balls. Yes, yes, thank you. They are divinely displayed in Mason jars around my house, and not one fellow adult who has entered my abode has not commented on their awesomeness. Old people still like toys. If old people still like toys, how do you think age appropriate, suggested age and recommended for ages aged people would respond to toy usage and the like in the classroom. Probably pretty well. What? We’re finger painting in art? We’re using building blocks in design? Magnetic poetry in literature? Sweet man…this sucks less. Well, then..that’s half the battle. Making it suck less. I think they call that engagement. That’s two money words. Maybe I won’t have to wear that paper sign after all.