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Year 3 Day 4- gettin’ deep into thought…

by admin on August 23rd, 2005

Day 2 is nearly in the books, and I feel surprisingly good. I’m not saying eI’m lovin’ it’ or anything, but I’m dealing with it. So far, the groups of kids I have are pretty well behaved. I’ve been lecturing a lot, which really doesn’t give them a chance to act like morons, which is the main reason.

I think the hardest part about this year is going to be figuring out the expectations of the new boss, and trying to adapt to them. I just don’t know anything. I know there are changes expected, and I know certain people here are on the iwatch listi so to say, but I’m not sure who, for the most part. *I do know one poor lady who is, and I feel badly for her, as this year is going to be TOUGH. *

I know this year won’t have as much ifree-timei to work on my other projects as I’ve been used to. That’s fine though, I’m starting to realize (even if it’s only 2 days in) that being busy, and lecturing, or working with the kids helps time go by faster. Today, as with yesterday went by really fast.

I promised to elaborate on my discussions with the kids yesterday, so here goes;

I was discussing Africa, and the AIDS epidemic there with my government class; these kids as I’ve mentioned tend to have opinions on everything, and usually those opinions aren’t what most would find normal, or even remotely acceptable. The kids aren’t shy about telling you their ideas however.

One student’s idea on how to solve the AIDS problem was simple…

iJust kill everyone WITH AIDS, and then it won’t be a problem anymore.i

As inhumane as it sounds, that might be true for a period of time… but I like to pose analogies to the kids, I feel I do a good job of creating analogies that usually put the situation back on them.

iOK that’s one opinion, but what if we decided to eliminate stupidity, and just kill people who didn’t have a certain GPA by the time they were in 10th grade?i I proposed…

iDude, we’d all be dead… i one kid observantly pointed out.

The young lady who made the original comment quickly had to take back her comment… igood point, you’re right.i She said.

The final conclusion was that sometimes it’s better to remedy the problem, than eliminate it.

One of the hardest things to convince these kids is to look at the world on a global level… and to see things from other people’s perspective. They have such a narrow focus, that they quickly draw conclusions without ANY thought. Its part of the reason they’re here in the first place.

Many of the conversations we have as a class end with me having to give them examples that would affect them directly. The kids just don’t see anything unless it’s directly causing them conflict, or harm.

iIf I don’t have to see it, hear about it, or deal with it, then it doesn’t concern me.i That is the mantra of these kids. These kids could care less about disease, or dictators ruining countries around the world, but if they get tater tots 2 days in a row, or new Metallica sucks, they’re pissed.

I’m not saying this problem doesn’t exist in every school, because quite honestly, apathy is a problem everywhere, not just here. Apathy exists here on a much larger scale though. I’m going to try and figure out why this year.

I have a few theories. Here is one.

1) When you don’t have a lot in life, but constantly SEE what life has to offer, you become more bitter, and more selfish to protect yourself, and what you do have. Meaning, people in a lot of 3rd world countries might know on some level they’re not getting the best end of the deal, but they’re not constantly beaten with western culture and ideals on a daily basis, making them ever aware of how poor they are.

Example: When I was at the orphanage this summer, the kids made toys out of literally anything they found interesting. They made up games, they made balls out of dirt and old sacks, and they stayed out side, climbed trees, and just acted like kids… with imaginations. One reason for this was that they didn’t HAVE any toys. I would be willing to bet if there were a group of American kids on the farm with them, who brought a bunch of their toys, and games from home… and constantly played them in front of the other kids, only occasionally letting them play with them, I bet you’d see the orphan kids WANT more toys, and really be more involved in trying to get some, or they’d go farther away from those kids, as to avoid feeling bad, and avoid the conflicts it created.

Most of our kids here live below the poverty level, yet we live in an area that’s typically middle class, and up. They constantly see the cars, the clothes, the lifestyle that the others lead, and I know on some level it ticks them off… and rather than figure out how to get there themselves, they bitch and moan.

If these kids all lived in a community where everyone was within let’s say a 10% income level of each other, we wouldn’t have problems like this.

Things would be more like;

iYou eat one meal a day… I eat one meal a day… They eat one meal a day… they eat 2 meals a day, but they’re small… .basically we’re all the same.i

In a sense people who are forced to see the discrepancy of lifestyles on a daily basis do one of two things. They get motivated to obtain that lifestyle through honorable or dishonorable means.

Or

They just shut down, and try and not deal with anything unless it comes into direct conflict with them, and their lifestyle… .this is where the apathy comes in.

I feel so sorry for myself, and so pissed at the hand life has given me that anyone else’s problems are not a concern of mine.

This is partly why these kids are able to instantly think about annihilating an entire group of people so easily.

Their thought process goes like this; YOU WANT ME TO THINK ABOUT AFRICANS WITH AIDS?–>I DON’T LIKE TO–>AIDS SUCKS–>THE EASY WAY TO AVOID AIDS and TALKING ABOUT IT= KILLING THEM ALL–>TIME TO SPEAK MY MIND.

Ok, I’m done playing psychologist for the day.

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