Skateboarders’ Graffiti

So I’m at work as I write this.  Work has blocked Tumblr,  Live Journal… work has blocked my personal domain, too, at the highest level.  So WordPress it is.  I don’t dislike WordPress,  I just have to get used to it.  All for the best that I start a new blog at a new location anyhow… Too many work people knew my livejournal account.

I often ‘babysit processes’ during the course of my workday,  so there is a lot of downtime.  That is to say, time to kill while the process completes.  And oftentimes I’m in a high school or elementary classroom while I’m doing this, and kids and teachers are going about their business.  I’m like a fly on the wall.  You can be sure, though, if I even GLANCE at Facebook, the kids and their eagle eyes zone right in, and someone yells, “FACEBOOK!” like it’s some kind of big bowl of crack or something.  It’s highly bizarro.  It doesn’t stop me, of course, but I don’t like to draw attention to myself in my fly-on-the-wall capacity, so I do find other things to do besides Facebook during the the course of my… babysit.  The WordPress interface is pretty non-descript, so it just looks like I’m filling out a form on a mostly white/grey page.  Perfect.

Yesterday I was actually asked to leave a room as the kids were participating in some kind of voluntary mental health/drug use survey and roundtable, and they didn’t want any other adults in the room.  I kind of snickered at the word “adult” as it pertained to me, as I still don’t 100% get it.  39 years later, and all.  I have heard so much nonsense over the years of hanging out in classrooms.

For instance, did you know that they don’t teach CURSIVE writing in schools anymore?  Nor do they teach multiplication tables?  I nearly gagged on my gum.  For real.  I was in an inner city grade six class one day, and the teacher was writing on the board.  Several kids groaned and one spoke up, “Miss, you know we can’t read scribble writing!” and the teacher sighed and erased it and rewrote the whole thing in print.

I was agog.

Later,  I asked the teacher what that was all about, and she told me they don’t teach cursive anymore. Or if they do, it’s just for a few weeks.  I said that is akin to functional illiteracy.  She nodded.  I aksed her what kids’ signatures looked like.  She said it was like skateboarders’ graffiti.  Kind of a bubble print.  I shook my head in disbelief.

She said if you think that’s bad, check out the math class.

For real.