Friday, March 20, 2009

job perks

i may not get million dollar bonuses with my job like the folks at aig. but i do have some bonuses and perks that come with my line of work.

i've been at a middle school all week speaking to classes of 7th grade girls. yesterday we were talking about sexual harassment. i like to explore the difference between just playing around/"flirting" vs. sexual harassment. i broke the girls up into groups and had some girls brainstorm behaviors that would be flirting and other girls brainstorm behaviors that would be flirting or playing around. one group of girls were really talking a lot and seemed to be having too much fun to actually be doing the activity, so i went over to their group to investigate. i noticed that one of the group members had written something on their piece of paper and then had crossed it out. they seemed to be arguing about what they could and could not say. the girl kept saying "i can't say that!" and they were all laughing. i explained to them that i wanted to have an open and honest conversation and we might be using language that we're normally not allowed to use in school. but i also wanted to keep it appropriate and respectful. i tried to get her to tell me what it was she wasn't sure she could say. none of the girls in the group would say it, they just kept exploding with that middle school girl giggle. so finally, i looked at their sheet of paper and saw that they had written "grabbing someone on the boobs or balls." so i was like, "oh! you can say 'boobs' and 'balls' in today's class." oh my gosh! you would've thought i said the funniest joke in the world. it was that outrageous that there was this "teacher" saying "balls" out loud! holy smokes! the girls just laughed and laughed. one girl said, "this is, like, the most fun class ever!" to which i replied, "i'm so glad i can bring such joy to your life simply by saying one word, a word which you heard in gym class probably every day."

1 comment:

Erica said...

It is refreshing that the girls were all atwitter over such simple words. Kind of makes me feel good that there are still children out there having a childhood.