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[teacherartexchange] nudes

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From: Jean Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2007 - 18:05:34 PST


I guess if you were in jail, you would not be allowed to see any pictures of
nudes, no newspapers, no cigarettes or alcohol or illegal drugs, just
healthy stuff all the time. I was never in jail except once to get someone
out of jail and once I made a site visit, thinking about teaching in jail
for $33 an hour. Or maybe it was $22 an hour, I don't remember now. Good
pay. But you have to mingle with the prisoners. I probably couldn't handle
it. I'm glad I didn't do it. Not enough classroom control. Don't like
being locked in. Don't want to go deaf from the clang of the license plates
and the cans they are making. No, I guess they don't do that anymore. They
just put drops in people's ears to make them go deaf. ]

Some people were raised that way, like my dad used to say he couldn't hear
me, when he didn't like what I was saying. It was a reference to all the
license plates and that we were all in jail because my mother was so strict
that she wouldn't let him do all the bad stuff he wanted to do. He's dead
now, so I can write this now.

So you have to be careful what kind of culture you marry into. That's why
you should get to know someone longer than six weeks before you get married
to him, unlike what I did when I was 20 years old--married someone I only
knew for six weeks. My parents were grateful that he wanted to marry me and
that he had a job. I think those was the only criteria they had for a
suitable husband for me, after they had decided they didn't like the one the
high school had picked out for me, whom I went steady with for nearly two
years.

Also, some teachers do what they call "dumbing down." I am not sure exactly
what this means, but I think it means playing Walt Disney cartoons to people
who are old enough to make a living, who would be watching R rated movies if
they had their own choice. You probably know high school history teachers
who make history so dull and boring by taking all the interesting scandal
out of it, that you just about go to sleep thinking about it.

Some people don't want their kids to know anything about the world or about
life. But we can't just warehouse the kids without teaching them anything
at all. That's what school is about. It's suppposed to be that the more
you know, the better life is for you, so you don't have to find out
everything the hard way.

Around here you have to try to figure out what is the grade level of a
person you are talking to because they all look like grownups to me, the
ones who don't look like kids, that is. Is that person imposing on you a
6th grade moral code or a 10th grade moral code or a 22-year-old moral code?
Because supposedly, after they get out of public school and turn 21, then
they are allowed to see nudes and other things that were prohibited to them
in the lower grades. But people might have told them those things were so
bad in order to keep them from becoming sexually active in middle or high
school that they actually think that people are bad people for wanting to
see paintings of nude people when they grow up and get out of school. They
are still functioning at a middle school level of morality.

It's like people who think that only married people are allowed to make
love. Everyone else is supposed to be celibate--no sex. And if they aren't
celibate, then they are prostitutes or hookers or whatnot. They don't
realize that people who are single for a long time are usually not sitting
at home by themselves all the time. That doesn't mean they are a
prostitute.

But what are you going to tell the kids? You are facing kids whose parents
might encompass a wide spectrum of morality. Some of those kids think that
they are obligated to have sex any time the opportunity presents itself or
they will be accused of being gay. What are you going to say to a kid like
that? Do you say that AT LEAST the two people should be friends first, get
to know each other, go out on dates, talk about the future, about the
possibility of getting pregnant, about how the family will react, and so on.
Then the kid is going to go home and tell his parents that you said it was
all right to have sex before marriage. So from what I am reading these days
the kids are advised to abstain from having sex until marriage, but they
tell them about birth control and where to get it.

Too bad I'm not a counselor. I guess that's their job. But I have sat and
listened to my Master teacher listen to a kid in high school who was talking
about what he was going to do to anyone who touched his sister. It was
scary. She just sat and listened. She said, he comes and talks to me every
Tuesday.

Maybe I should have told the principal what that kid was saying to that
teacher, but I figured that she would tell him if she needed to. Being a
teacher is a hard job and it's scary sometimes. I guess I already said too
much about it.

Jean Womack

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