Mountainview High School is an odd place. It feels like a prison. The kids are nice though and the teachers are very supportive. The first thing I heard as a walked in the door was: “It doesn’t matter as long as you love him.” I think I gasped audibly while thinking: “don’t go to a teen-ager for relationship advice–they learn everything they know from places like reality TV shows.”
Picking up the pace, I hurried to the admin office and picked up the keys, rolls and emergency procedures and ran off trying to avoid anymore ghastly teen-agery.
The classes I taught today was about being an outcast. The teacher left a video and questionnaire. The questionnaire was very detailed and took the kids an hour to do. The video was a fifteen minutes long section of a National Geographic episode. It showcased a guy who was partially covered in tattoo of a lizard-man motif. Here is a small snippet. I didn’t find the guy all that shocking. I know a guy with aspergers syndrome who used to work at the Lindon, Utah Wal-Mart who was covered head to toe with tattoos of Disney characters. Every inch. Still, the tattoos were supposed to set the guy apart from society.
The reactions were predictable ranging from shocked to jealous. Many of the kids in class already had tats. Some of the gangbangers were only too happy to show me theirs. I tried to point out that tattoos don’t really violate the rules of society. Tattooing is the rule society allows one to safely rebel from society while still being a part of it. I didn’t go too far into my conversation though. We didn’t have time and I don’t think identity politics is something parents want in eleventh grade classrooms coming from a substitute teacher.