Tuesday, February 24, 2004

my j.a. kids 2004...

so, i have to admit that my j.a. kids this year are nowhere near as crazy about me as last year's kids were. and the feeling is somewhat mutual. this year's kids seem to be a little more, what's the word i'm looking for here.. i don't know.. smart-alecky? is that a word? at any rate, they're not quite as attentive, and i'll admit that as being partially my fault because i suppose i'm not really as into it as i was last year. no particular reason, though i can't help but attribute some of my disinterest to the general attitude and vibe of the class.

don't get me wrong, there are definitely quite a few gems in the class, but i find myself having to raise my voice more often than not in order to be heard over their constant babbling. maybe they're not as interested in the subject material as last year's class was, despite my heroic attempts at trying to make the topic of "personal economics" appeal to a bunch of 7th graders.

last year, my kids looked forward to my sessions and were very vocal about it. there was all kinds of love. this year, the kids are just sort of there because they have to be.. or at least that's the vibe i've gotten over the past 7 weeks. but when i told them last week that this wednesday was going to be my last class with them, more than a few of them seemed disappointed, and i came away from it feeling like they took me for granted. of course i have no resentment towards them at all, after all they're only 12-13 year olds. and despite their nonchalance, i still feel like i made a difference in some of their lives and hope to leave them tomorrow with much to think about with respect to their futures. but it just wasn't the same. and i was probably expecting just that and in the process managed to set unjust expectations for them. but hey, you learn something everyday, right? next year will be different.

our office is sponsoring a pizza party for the entire school on the last day, which is nice. and they're also giving us little gifts to pass out to the kids which include a plastic see-through pencil case with built-in ruler, a blue and yellow highlighter with our company logo on it, and a pencil with a 100 dollar bill design on it and a chunky green dollar sign eraser. i have a couple of issues with the pencil-eraser-dollar-sign-madness being given out to these kids for reasons that are self-explanatory. and i also have an issue with the pizza party.

last year, we did a pizza party and the pizzas were ordered from a neighborhood pizza place and while i'm all about supporting south side businesses, the pizza was the worst i'd ever had. and i vocalized this to my co-worker who is in charge of arranging it, in a nice way, of course. a lot of us thought it sucked so it wasn't just me. so this year, turns out the pizzas are being ordered from the same place and i asked my co-worker why. she said it's because it's the only place that's within her budget.

now, i work for a multi-million dollar company and they're having issues with a pizza party budget for school kids? i find there to be something inherently wrong with ordering sucky pizza just to come within budget. this is obviously not my co-workers fault, but i hate that there's only a $200 difference between sucky pizza and a place like giordano's... or hell, even dominoes pizza is better than the sucky pizza. if we were teaching in a white/suburban neighborhood, where the neighborhood pizza parlor was a giordano's, would they stretch their budget? i wonder. and why don't the south side kids deserve to eat good ass pizza?

man, i really have issues...