Thursday, October 20, 2005

ready for the weekend

good morning, all.

even though it has been an abbreviated week, i am soooo ready for the weekend. lots of good times to be had, especially going down to fayetteville and watching the band competition. will be a nice throwback to the good ol' days.

this week has been somewhat crazy, somewhat productive. yesterday, i had my class with the wild seventh grade class (there are two classes of 7th graders--one is wild, the other is mild--not sure how that happened). anyways, my topic with them this week was going to be about creating a "politically correct" vocabulary. yes, i know how being PC can occasionally be a pain and make it difficult to express yourself. however, some of these kids have adopted a few questionable slang terms, particularly saying that something is "retarded" or "gay" when they dislike it. the faculty and i have been wanting to break them of that habit and it seemed like a good opportunity to bring up some of that stuff in my class. so we started off by reading a selection from "politically correct bedtime stories" (always amusing) and then going over some definitions about stereotypes and all of the "isms" (classism, racism, ageism, ableism)...well, the discussion went from that to...every possible tangent we could find. and it certainly was a productive discussion, but we were all of a sudden talking about the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation, what terms were correct or incorrect to use in those situations (quote from the discussion, "queer is a word you should only use if you're talking about a show on bravo") and then we moved into descriptions of various personality and mood disorders and why they shouldn't think that "multiple personalities are funny" and that bipolar people don't flip-flop back and forth between the manic and depressive sides. and here's the thing--the main reason the kids thought it was okay to use "gay" and "retarded" as slang is because they know everyone at oakwood and they know that it doesn't offend anyone, so they don't need to change that since it doesn't offend anyone now. i did a quick reminder that they won't always be at oakwood and they won't always know whether or not those terms will offend someone and that in the long run, i want to make sure that when they reach their respective universities or even new high schools, that they don't make fools of themselves by inadvertantly offending someone by carelessly using those words. i have a looooong way to go. but it's a start.

in the meantime, we carved a pumpkin last night when i taught the kids class at church. after running through one of our skits that we're going to perform next month, we talked about how carving a pumpkin is like what God does with us--he takes out all the junk inside, cleans us out and then puts a light inside of us so we can share it with the world and they can see His light in us. besides getting really messy pulling out the seeds, the kids had a good time carving various shapes in the pumpkin (amos:"i'm going to put a ghost on this side" me:"i really don't think a ghost is very churchy. how about a cross or a heart?" amos:"no, it's the Holy Ghost!" me:"okay, i guess that'll work, then") and then putting the candle inside to show off their artwork. fun times, fun times.

we've been talking about the books we enjoy reading among the faculty members and one of the ladies in the business office dropped off a book yesterday that i have already finished, it was so good. if you're a sucker for the chick lit movement, check out this book for a fun, quick read that is terribly entertaining and addicting. i'm trying to track down the sequel to it now.

okay, i should go be productive now. later :)

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