Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Something To Talk About
Since I'm blessed enough to have a handful of friends who are teachers, I occasionally get the honor of being invited to speak to their students for Career Day and other forums. I've spoken at quite a few Elementary, Middle and High Schools...even my college Alma mater. But next month, I am especially looking forward to talking to some students at my old school, Redan High School.
Now, I wasn't the best student in high school. In fact, alot of my teachers probably considered me one of the worst. Not as in fighting, bringing weapons or selling drugs...just as in being rebellious, mischievous, disinterested, lazy and blatantly disrespectful. I wound up having to go to alternative school my entire senior year playing catch-up behind that dumb shit.
But, I did go to college, graduate and become a productive citizen, so, yeah, I am really looking forward to going back and hopefully running into old teachers who counted me out (my punk ass Spanish teacher Mr. Dorce, "como estas nuuccca!")...and the ones who knew I was better than how I was presenting myself.
When I've spoken to kids in the past, I've tried to encourage them without selling them fantasies. I also encourage them to do their own reading and not just take everything in the textbooks as law. I hate to sound cliche, but I "keep it real" with the students.
I like to think I have a positive impact most times, since I tend to get invited back to talk to them year after year. But, I think a lot of them are just impressed that I've met some of their favorite singers, rappers, actresses, athletes, etc. Oh well.
Anyways, most times when I talk to the kids the teachers give me an outline of what they want me to talk about with them. Other times I'll just come up with my own points to make. But, this morning, I came across some scary news that I feel I might just have to touch on with them.
This morning CNN reported that at least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease. That's a whole damn lot of kids man. I mean, when I was in high school, yeah, STDs were around but it didn't seem to be THAT BIG of an issue. I mean, we'd see the stuff in the newspaper ranking what high schools had the highest number of infected students. My school usually ranked 2nd or 3rd in the county, which is the main reason why I didn't mess with any of those chicks, as fine as they may have been.
But even then, it didn't seem like we really took that news that seriously. Really, we used joke about the shit because our rival, Southwest Dekalb (SWD) would always rank 1st. So, at the basketball and football games, we'd counter their "S-W-D" chants with "S-T-D"...cruel? Yes. Funny? Hell to the yes.
But, after seeing these kinds of statistics as an adult, that shit ain't no joke. Makes me worry about these kids even more. I mean, we all like to think we know whats going on with these kids, that's why we're always so quick to call them crazy, retarded or high off drugs. But man, to have a report like this just stare you in the face, got damn.
So, I'm gonna try and figure out what I can say to tell these youngsters to be more careful out there. I don't think there is much you can say to keep them from having sex. I mean, education and even scare tactics may work for some, but not all.
Since most of them are Lil Wayne fans, maybe I should bring this ad for Strapped condoms with me...
Labels: True Story