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.

Any suggestions?

Since most of them are Lil Wayne fans, maybe I should bring this ad for Strapped condoms with me...


Chris said...

In the words of the Great Hip-Hop Activist 2pac Shakur "Say money bring bitches bring lies one nigga gettin jealous a muthaf*ka dies"
If the teacher won't let you get away with saying that tell them. Over 40,000 new HIV infections occur each year in the United States. About 70% are in men, and 30% in women. Of men reported as newly infected, about 40% are black, 36% white, and 22% Hispanic. About 60% were infected through sex with other men, 25% through injection drug use,and 16% through sex with women. Over 70% of women were infected by having sex with men. The rest were infected through injection drug use. About 60% of infected women are black, 19% white , and 19% Hispanic.

Nick Love said...

Congrats on the invite sir. I'm still waiting on my invite back up to Stephenson (the mighty Jaguars). I haven't been to RHS in a long time. What you plan on talking about??

boi-dan said...

Try these:
"No orgrasim in the world is worth dying for."

"No orgasim in the world is worth potentially laying in a coffin and having someone close it and put you under dirt."

"If you don't work you don't eat, you don't grind, you don't shine."

Try and incorporate the following:
Too many young black teens have the attitude of somebody owes them something or they have this smash-and-grab mentality. If you don't work hard at a goal, you won't achieve it. Life isn't a fairy tale, you won't miraculous reach a goal because you deserve it, you have to earn it. Theres no sweet "lick" that will yield the success you see in rap videos.
Buying what you need and begging for what you want is a self-defeating behavior.

- Tariq Nasheed

"Just because a white person doesn't like you, they are not racist."

"Racism exist but props and sucess or given to those who work around and achive success in spite of."

boi-dan said...

Buying what you want and begging for what you need is a self-defeating behavior.

clyde said...

i read the academic paper
and it said black teenage
girls were at 50%
i have a younger bro in the 9th grade
and its crazy to think that ppl his age have it that bad.
what is under reported though is that these prblms do not trouble suburban kids as much as urban and rural kids.