Monday, July 13, 2009

Spooning Almost Always Leads to Forking

I have this long standing joke/analogy with some of my students re: teenage sexuality. The subject came up when one of my allegedly promiscuous male students remarked about how after a date, he brings his lady friends home to watch movies. As one who is not too far removed from teenage life, I know *exactly* what happens when one "watches movies." The joke goes a little something like this:

If you're gonna watch movies, be sure to keep the DVDs in their cases. I know some people like to tell you that DVDs play better when they aren't in their cases, but it's not true. DVDs ALWAYS play the best when they are kept in their cases. When you don't keep them in their cases, DVDs are susceptible to all kinds of dust, scratches, food particles. Some dust, food particles and scratches can be easily buffed away, but some are permanent. For the permanent ones, no amount of DVD cleaner or rubbing them on your pant leg can get rid of them. You may think you cleaned them off, but the permanent ones always come back when you least expect it.

Furthermore, if you don't keep the DVDs in their cases, you could end up with blu-rays. I know what you're thinking: blu-rays are so cute and tiny. Trust me: no teenager needs a blu-ray. They're expensive and once you have one, you can never go back to not having one.

There is nothing wrong with deciding that you don't want to watch movies at all. Maybe you prefer ice cream and bowling; both well lit and fun activities. There is nothing wrong with ice cream and bowling. With ice cream and bowling, you will never end up with scratches on your DVD or, worse, blu-rays.

Needless to say, they thought this was a screaming riot.

I chose to give them veiled advice because I wasn't sure where the school stood on the issue. I do know, however, were I stand on the issue. Regardless of what my (or your) personal politics are: teenagers have the right to know about their sexuality so that they may make an informed decision. Period. How can you expect anyone to make a decision about their lives and their health without giving them all of the information they need first?

I don't appreciate or agree with our society devaluing teenagers. I have worked and currently work with, some very bright and very talented teenagers. I am honored to know them. I wouldn't want anything to happen to them because they lacked the knowledge to make an informed decision about their health. Would you?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Golden Rule

I am fiercely overprotective of any child I am put in charge of. When I am responsible for them, I will love them and care for them as they were my own. Why? Because when I have children and entrust another person to their care, that is exactly what I will expect from them.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Since Saturday, I have been advocating for a resident who has severe celiac disease. I met with staff, I sent emails, I asked nicely; until last night. The kid told me he had ulcers in his mouth - an indication that he'd been consuming gluten. I literally flew into a rampage. I went upstairs to find my boss, then to the schedule to find my other boss on call. I called him and again explained the severity of the situation. He assured me he would take care of it. I am happy to report that the dining hall is now preparing specifically gluten free meals and that the resident, my boss and I will be meeting on a weekly basis to discuss meal options.

Today, I had to take a kid to the doctor. He was having some trouble with his legs and needed to get them checked out. The doctor's visit turned into a soaking wet fiasco. He and I had to make it there and back in the torrential downpour that ensued in Boston this afternoon. Neither of us had umbrellas.

I have anxiety about public transportation, well I had it before today. Normally, I like to do test runs everywhere so I know where I'm going. Today, there was no time for that. The kid had to get there on time and in one piece. I left all my anxiety at the door and focused. I made sure he felt as safe and cared for as he would have if he were at home. I did what I had to do and he was grateful.

Now, I am sitting listening to frat boys keep my ballerinas awake. I've already complained to the res hall manager, my coworkers and my boss. It will be resolved because my girls have to sleep. They need their rest to be able to perform to their greatest highest good.

I love kids. I love what I do. I do what I do because I love so fiercely. I celebrate this aspect of myself everyday. I appreciate each and every one of them for allowing me to help them. They make understand why I was put on this Earth and for that I am incredibly humbled and eternally grateful.
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