Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why I'm Not Having Kids

I've never really felt like I understand teenagers. But who does, really? Even when I was a teenager, I never understood them.

I did -- and still do -- use slang and colloquialisms that I don't really understand. It's not like I do it intentionally...It just happens. For example, I wrote "I love spunk" in huge letters with marker across my binder in grade 10, thinking that "spunk" meant "smooth punk." I used to think that S&M meant "stupid & mean." I would say to people, "Stop being so S&M!"

So it's no surprise that teenagers still puzzle me. And since working in a high school, I've noticed a lot of things...

#1 - Kids Start Dating Only Days After Getting Their Molars
I was shocked when I first heard about kids discussing their previous ex-boyfriends. I'm sure each of these kids' relationships can totally beat each of mine in terms of length, frequency, and fulfillment (get your head out of the gutter, people!) What's worse is that while I was photocopying shit today, I overheard a bunch of kids talking about their sex lives.

I didn't even have my first kiss until I was 18. It was ridiculous, I was getting birthday cards that said, "Happy Birthday! Sweet 16 18 and Never Been Kissed!"

#2 - Kids Don't Like Justin Bieber
I thought that it was a universal thing that all kids like Justin Bieber?!? I was trying to be a cool teacher, and mention Justin Bieber in my lessons. Big mistake.

#3 - Bringing a Pencil & Piece of Paper to Class is Too Much Work
Seriously. Only 1/3 will bring a writing utensil, and maybe one will bring paper.
Here's a typical day:

"So class, today we will be--"

A student walks in late.

[To student]: "Have a seat. Here's what we're working on. Do you have a pencil?" Student shakes head, "no." I waste a minute, looking for a pencil. The other students start throwing junk food, spitballs, and insults at each other while I'm digging through drawers for a pencil.

"--As I was saying, today we will be looking at the various ways that --"

Another kid walks in and the cycle continues at least 5 more times.

I eventually walk around and observe the students' work. If I notice that the student hasn't done anything, I'll ask, "Why haven't you done anything yet?"

"My pencil isn't sharpened. I guess I can't do any work."

"That's not an excuse."

The student hands me the pencil.

"Fine, sharpen it for me, then."

"No, you have two fully functional legs. You can do it yourself."

"I don't want to. I guess I can't do any work, then."


"Why haven't you done any work then?"

The student shrugs.

"Do you need a pencil?"


"Why didn't you raise your hand when I asked at the beginning of class if anyone needed a pencil?"

"I didn't need one then."


#4 - Kids Throw Around Offensive Terms Like It's Casual Conversation
I don't know how many times I've heard, "Jimmy, stop being so gay!" or "You're such a fag" among other things that I don't need to repeat. I'm not sure what exactly is the proper way to deal with this -- I've tried explaining to them what the implications of using those words are, but considering these kids can't even write a paragraph unless I tell them exactly what to write, it's no use. I've tried getting really upset/angry when I hear them use these terms (because they truly do make me angry/upset) -- but then again, I've been told that, "The more angry you get with kids, the more likely the kids will repeat the action to see you get all riled up again."
Today, a kid handed me an assignment that had nothing completed. This student said, "I don't want to do it!" and I said, "Well, you can hand it in but I'll give you a zero." The student then proceeded with a "Fuck you!!" and stormed off.

Ah, how I love the young, innocent, delightful minds of the future.

#5 - Kids Don't Care if They go to the Principal's Office
Teachers don't give detentions these days, because they don't want to sacrifice their time. So, if a kid is bad, we send him/her to the principal's office. I'm sure the principal can get quite scary and threaten to call the student's parents, but a lot of parents don't really care about their kids, or are too busy to deal with it. Woohoo.

I'm definitely not having children. Not because I think they'd turn out like this (with a person as cool as me for a mom, I mean, c'mon!), but because I don't want them to be surrounded by this...


  1. Sounds like the majority of kids that I went to class with, in grade school and high school. Consider that I also went to the "best" public schools in the area and what you've got is a sad situation. You gotta scare the shit out of kids to get any respect from them.

  2. Kids are such little shits these days. Plus they all have laptops now and pencils might as well be a quill and ink well to them - a thing of the past.

  3. Oh gosh don't even get me started on the kids today. When I was a teen I despised them then and pretty much goes the same as now! I get all surprised and excited when I see a kid with manners and a good attitude(its very rare). When I do come across one that is a little turd, I thank him/her for their behavior.
    I don't even know what happened. There is this huge generation gap. When I was younger there wasn't one between teens in my age group and people in their 20's, we all understood each other fine. Now those same age groups seem miles apart! Oh I weep for the future!

  4. Oh that was supposed to be "ISN'T a little turd" in my previous comment.

  5. How could so much have changed so quickly? The two times my mother got a call from the principal...well...let's just say it's a wonder I'm still alive.

    #3's dialogue had me laughing out loud (as did the label "life-threatening situations")

    "I love spunk" on your binder?... there.are.no.words

  6. um... i am totally going to start telling people to stop being so S&M. i almost spit out my iced tea when i read that. HILARIOUS.

  7. I hated being a teenager. I hated being lumped into that huge group of no-brains.

    Seriously, what is WRONG with kids???