Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Neither A Beggar Nor A Feeler Be

What's up with the youth of today? Why do they think the world owes them everything they desire, and some things they don't? It's not a rhetorical question, people. WHAT makes them feel entitled to any item they spy, once they pry their eyes from their precious cell phones?

I'm sure I've mentioned that I can't keep loaner pencils. Because there's no such thing as a loan anymore. It's a gimme. So I only loan pencils I find. Easy come, easy go. Once they've gone, no more free pencils from the desk of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Fair is fair. Supply and demand. We've also touched on the free Germ-X issue. Luckily, this year's crop of students do not view it as an inhalant or a skin cream or battery acid to fling on one's cronies.

Today a student pointed to the case of bottled water resting under the table that holds my mini-fridge, and said, "Hey, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, can I have a bottle of water?" I'm sure you can guess the answer. I am not in the charitable beverage distribution market. Sure, I could have given away one bottle of water. Then every day I'd have 99 students asking for a bottle of water. It doesn't pay to be nice. Besides, that kid didn't really want a bottle of water. If he wanted a bottle of water, all he had to do was save his sugar-free soda bottle from lunch, and fill it up at the drinking fountain like all the other kids.

If I had given him a bottle of water, all manner of rumors could fly. Well, I hear she gave him a bottle of water! Huh. Sure he's got an A. She gave him a bottle of water, too. When the girls ask, she never gives THEM a bottle of water. She needs to be fired. She's abusing her power. Next thing you know, there's Mrs. Hillbilly Mom swatting the microphone away from her face when Elliott Davis comes a-callin' to interview her for his new spin-off segment, "You DIDN'T Pay For It."

Then there are the feelers. The touchers. The kids who have to stick their finger into Little Jack Horner's Christmas pie, trying to get that plum before Li'l Jackie can thumb it. Hey! Student! Leave my stuff alone!

On top of my mini-fridge rests a file folder box. Until last week, it was the bottom of a box, and it was empty. I threw it away, and set a whole box of folders there. With the lid on. I have to clean out the cabinet to fit it in. I've just been a little busy lately, what with science fair and EOC testing. The kids have no business messing with anything around the perimeter of the classroom. I shudder to think what goes on when a substitute is there and they are out from under my heavy thumb.

This afternoon, I caught a kid standing by the mini-fridge, pushing his hand down on my file folder box. I told him to get his paw off of it. In a polite way, of course. I don't want to have a parent conference for chastising a kid for touching MY stuff. Another student said, "Hey, can I throw that file folder box away?" Seriously? These kids don't even throw away their own used Kleenexes. I can't imagine them going all This Side of the Classroom Maintained by Student X on me.

I cannot figure them out. What if I went down the hall to the student lockers, opened them, squeezed everything in there, and asked for specific items?

I don't think that would go over very well, do you?


Sioux said...

You deny a child water? You deny them the opportunity to hydrate their brain? As a scientist, haven't you read of the studies that prove how important water is to the functioning of the brain?

This small slip of a kid would probably come crawling to you, wondering if your case of water was a mirage or real, their mouth as dry as the Sahara Desert...and you would shout a resounding, "No!"

For shame, for shame, for shame...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Let the record show that my classroom is adjacent to the water fountain. Two, in fact. The high and the low. If the act does not interrupt the flow of the lesson, I allow a student to step out for a drink.

This small slip of a kid could have crawled himself to the drinking fountain, had he only asked, with his Sahara mouth, or by American sign language, or by the universal sign for thirst, a point to the throat. Of course, he might have gotten a bonus Heimlich before I deciphered his request.