Ok, so I may not be the most passionate, but I do try. and teaching, as much as I whine about it, is one of the very important parts of my life. After all, education is the only thing that can make things right in this country, and as a kid who had the best education that money could buy I figure that it’s my duty to pass that on and help where I can.
So when I’m not in the lab helping the kiddies build models out of plasticine (they won a contest and one of them rushed up and said “But we weren’t even competing! We were just being ourselves!” I was sad at the lack of hollywood-inspirational music at the time), or trying to convince them that drawing out of a textbook rather than using a microscope is a bad thing (you want to be a doctor? So what, you’ll take an appendix out of a dummy and ignore the sick person because it’s easier?) I am in a classroom with 16 of them, trying to shut them up and get them to concentrate.
When I’m not seething at the attitude-problems (they ARE teenagers after all) where they act as though their attendance is a favour to me, or trying to keep them quiet so that they don’t bother the class next door, we have had some interesting discussions.
- We all know the famous one: “if you are not a virgin and you have to go to the doctor, you can fool them but shoving chicken livers and skin up-“ *ahem*, right…. I told them that if they were uncomfortable with talking about sex then they most definitely shouldn’t be having it.
- “If Adam and Even were the first humans then their children would have interbred and left them disfigured. why aren’t we weird-looking?” “Well did you ever see Adam and Eve? Maybe we are. Now please do your assignment”
- “If there is a green mamba in the toilet you should leave it there because it is an ancestor.” Sure, leave it there. Just run like hell while doing it, K?
- “Poor people don’t sort their recycling”
- “Poor people don’t cause global warming”
- “It’s not fair that cars cause global warming because not everyone has a car so it’s not our fault. If we have cars we’ll deal with global climate change.”
- “We don’t have the right proportion of genes in our group because our parents weren’t all purebred.”
- “We should cull half the people on the planet. No! We should make it a sport and have people hunt people and if they get caught then the government should give money to their family.” (one of the other students stopped gasping in shock and pointed out that they’d already seen that movie).
- “If I’m from a rural area and I become a doctor can I skip community service? I don’t want to work for poor people.”
To be fair, they’re good kids (mostly), if a bit lazy and looking a bit far ahead to the ferrari’s in their futures. They generally speak pretty good English and they don’t really show as much entitlement-mindset as a few of the previously-underprivileged kiddies I’ve taught before.
And, I’m finished with them now, so I can safely say that I will miss them – as long as I don’t get them back!