Contrary to the title of this post, I was not thinking about one thing, and then start thinking about something completely different. In fact, I was thinking about several similar things all at once. I am currently working during the day as a substitute teacher. Because of this, I see more different students in the course of the week than most other teachers. I also have, because of the nature of being a sub, more time with nothing to do than even the students have. As a result, I spend much of my day observing and listening to the students. It is very interesting what the students will tell each other when they think no one else is listening.
"I can't believe how drunk I got. I totally passed out, and didn't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital."
"Yeah, I got a ticket for underage drinking, but I'm gonna fight it, 'cause my Dad gave me the beer, and he was driving."
"No, I'm not pregnant. So I dodged another one."
"I beat the ____ out of her! She totally deserved it. She was talking ___ about me."
I could go on, but it gets very redundant. Underage drinking, casual sex, violence, lawbreaking, cheating, fighting, drug use. Name it. The scariest part of all of it is the attitude. Nothing matters, so do whatever you want. One person even suggested that the perfect retirement plan is to rob a bank with a gun. You'll go to jail where they will provide food, shelter, health care, etc. all for free. Besides, I don't need school, I can make more money in a day on the corner selling than most teacher's make in a year.
Where did we go wrong? Not too long ago in America people were ashamed when they did something wrong, or something that would embarrass their family. Not any more. In fact, many of the kids think their parents deserve it for trying to stop them from doing what they want to do. We live in the "me" generation of disposable things. Disposable razors, disposable cars, disposable marriages. If it doesn't work, throw it away.
This school, along with others, is trying to change those attitudes. They have a new program trying to build respect, responsibility, and honesty. They say it is working. I hope it is. I worry that it's not.
Take Care. Keep Hoping. Stick.