Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just Farting Around

We've all done it--wandered around aimlessly, either in the literal sense or just metaphorically, with no particular destination in mind. We fart around when we have Absolutely Nothing Better to Do. But more often, we fart around when we have a pressing deadline; a form of procrastination, pure and simple. We're not proud of this, but That's the Way It Is.

The Yearbook is done. Picture this: 7th period, end o' the day. AP testing has been going on since last week, so many of our Cherubs aren't on any kind of a regular schedule--they usually take their exams and then check out, claiming that they're très fatigué. Today we have 23 Lovely Yearbook Cherubs in class. Four of them spent about 20 minutes planning for next year's book. Take a look at their learning profile since then:

8 playing online games; 3 others looking over the shoulders of the gamers
4 watching MTV online: "The Hills," "Real World: Hollywood"; "The Paper"
5 practicing online for next week's state-mandated standardized tests
2 looking thru old yearbooks
1 on the couch, answering homework questions about The Great Gatsby.
23 Cherubs, most of whom are less-than-gainfully engaged. Oh, well. This is what we do when the state mandates 183 days of class time, the Yearbook is done and the kids are on a long leash. Hey, we're all tired, ain't we?

We know, spare you the "social commentary," such as it is. We came upon a Real Gem, though, while tidying Ye Olde Basement the other day. In 1998, when our high school journalism teaching career was in its infancy, the Cherubs were quite a bit more creative. Of course, AOL and others had not quite saturated the online gaming market, and no one even imagined there'd ever be a world with online TV shows.

One of our Senior Journalistas had just returned from a visit to the counselor. Those Guidance Types have pamphlets to "counsel" the kiddos on everything from depression to gangs. Most of these documents are stilted, melodramatic, soap-opera-ish relics of a bygone era (remember "Duck and Cover"? The slant of these pubs reminds us of such Cold War nonsense). The youngster snagged a gang-prevention pamphlet and spent hours whiting out the words referring to illicit activity ("gangs," "crews," "drugs," "murder," etc.) and substituting the names of our Esteemed Student Newspaper, its employees, their wants, desires & whatnot in their stead. We're talking 16 pages of pure, ironic, sarcastic, unadulterated and downright silly humor.

We recently spent a good bit of time perusing this award-winning (or at least it should be) publication. To coin the Cliché of the Century, we laughed 'til we peed our proverbial pants! The first page of the Masterpiece appears above. BTW, the shadowy figure holding the knife has a little text balloon coming out of his mouth. He is saying--in a Very Tough Guy Kinda Voice, we're positive--"Give us a quote or you die!" We wistfully long for the Good Olde Dayz, when more kids still cherished creativity. Sigh.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin