Monday, April 24, 2006

Have You Never Been Ghetto?*

*This, by the way, is a song parody longing to be written. Your ideas for lyrics are graciously accepted.

It started with a call from Scott. He wanted to know if I was that teacher who sent home that horrible list of words. Evidently, a child's grandmother (who he maintains is about 40 years old and had probably used some of those words herself) was incensed that her child was learning the origin of many of the popular hateful words and was talking to reporters (no link to the story can be found).

"Nope", I replied. "I'm too busy trying to suppress minority test scores to teach anything that noble. I thought about it, though. I even downloaded the lesson plan." It's worth noting that this particular lesson plan didn't have the racial slurs we most use so it was scrapped for more than one reason.

We went on to talk about how the restaurant I had invited some friends to visit was evidently the scene of a beat down Saturday night. When I drove by about 9:30, there were three fire trucks and five police cars. I still want to reschedule, it's great food and now it's an adventure.

Back home, it's laundry night in the apartment complex. While waiting for washers, I notice that signs have been posted for a day labor service and a bail bondsman. I make a mental note that it's time to move.

After a long wait, I load my clothes in and start across the parking lot when--are you ready? because it gets trashier soon--the tornado sirens blow! The reaction in the parking lot is priceless. One woman dashes into her apartment, while six others run out into the parking lot and just gawk at the sky. This is how you get to know your neighbors in Oklahoma apartments. Storm gawking. The group came to the consensus that there was nothing to worry about, but they'd all stay out "Hopin'", as they said "fer a funnel!".

I think that this summer, as I sit around the National Institute for Teaching Shakespeare, it's the stories like this I will tell that sum up my life.

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