Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ya keep coming back

Love's never easy to lose
My friend
To lose
My friend
--- Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, "Keep Coming Back"

Not much time tonight what with lack of sleep and tests and presentations and what not coming up, so I shall try to keep this short, though there are two main subjects that have been grating on me today.

First, though, Spooky told me a story the other day about how she hates hiring movers because one of them took a dump in her new house once. That story reminded me of this magnificent piece of art, which is one of the funniest examples of one of the greatest webcomics I have ever seen, Penny Arcade. Not because it's hilarious all the time --- though it is often quite funny --- but the precision and grace of the language is very appealing to me.

Speaking of language, I added to my blogroll one blog new to me and one extremely overdue: the former is Evolving English, the latter the venerable Language Log. Check them out!


The first item that ticked me off today was getting my peer evaluations back for my Science Methods lesson. The presentation itself got a surprisingly low grade by the instructor, 88%. I was disappointed in this, because I thought I did great. However, that's her call, and I respect her choices (she gave me the grading rubric). What bothered me was the comments a couple of my peers left: "Hopefully he will not present the same way to school children," "Young kids don't take sarcasm well," "Be more positive." These same people gave me fairly high marks, so their assessment isn't the issue. It's their attitudes. I wasn't sarcastic, though I do see how a person who is used to talking to children in that sickly-sweet, patronizing tone that so many women use might think so. I did use humor, and I was brusque and efficient, just the way I've talked with my preschoolers and kindergarteners for years.

I work with children. I have worked with children for nearly six years. I have worked with kids from all SES backgrounds, all ages, in two states. I am well paid, respected by my boss, and loved by the kids. I've mentioned before that kids around 5-7 who don't even know me seem to crave my attention and opinion. So while my peers' comments on how I talked during my presentation aren't something I take personally, it's depressing. I'm fighting against a tidal wave of matriarchal attitudes about how to treat and educate children. I'm fighting a wall of Accepted Truth that somehow women are the only gender that can bring children up.

Personally, I think it's perverse. I think that the vast majority of women teachers in this country are the reason why we're raising a generation of sissies, ADD-addled ignoramuses, posturing males who think being a man means acting like an ape, and boys who don't give a single solitary shit about school. Why on earth would a young boy want to emulate a woman? Why should a boy, who sees nothing but women as authority figures in school, think that school is anything but for girls?

Anyway, I kind of lost my point there. Oh yeah! We need more male teachers, and some women need to get off their high horses about education (and get out of the field while they're at it, because frankly a lot of them are stone dumb).


The other main sticking point today was Spooky, as usual. Too late now to record the whole tiresome story now. One vignette illustrates the situation. Spooky got sick and went to the hospital; I called her after class, and reached her as she was being driven back home by Babydaddy. I said that I'd come see her, but it would be unpleasant. Maybe, I suggested, she could turn to Babydaddy and try to communicate how happy a visit from me would make her. She did so: "I really want Chance to come see me?" I had only to hear his loud, petulant, childish "Why!?" to realize that I wouldn't be coming over there.

I am growing more distant with her because of this.


Greg said...

You're an angry young man! Although I think your anger toward women in general is a bit of just that - a generalization - I see where you're coming from, especially from my own experiences. I was always the favorite older person among my younger cousins and the small children of people I knew because I didn't talk to them like they were babies - I talked to them in a normal tone of voice and didn't use "cutesy" words, and I think they respected that. It annoys me when people treat children like they need to be insulated from absolutely everything and spoken to like they were idiots.

We do need more male teachers - you're right. But why the hatred of female teachers?

Chance said...

I guess you're reading a hatred there that wasn't intended and isn't felt. I certainly don't hate female teachers at all. I do resent a few of my fellow students who seem to believe that there is only one way to talk to children.