Okay, people. I got a sore throat last week, then the sniffles. They’re gone now, but I’m still recovering from the shame of no longer being able to
brag claim that I CAN’T REMEMBER WHEN I WAS LAST SICK.
It’s true, I couldn’t–or, as they’d say back in NC where I’m from, I useta couldn’t. After a dozen years of teaching high school, handling germ-covered essays and having close conversations with people saying things like, “I’m really sick but my mom made me come to school,” I was IMMUNE TO EVERYTHING. My last six or seven years of teaching were a happy glide path. The only sick days I took were really nice, sunny ones, or else comfortable dennings-down in a Starbucks armchair with a day’s worth of grading. Hey, mental health is still health, right?
But now I can feel those little white blood cells slipping away. After nearly three years out of the classroom, I am losing my immunity. Last week was just the overture, I fear, to those timelss classics,The Twice-Yearly Cold, The Winter Flu, and everyone’s favorite, That Stomach Bug You Gave Me. Playing soon in a body very near me.
But that’s not the worst of what I’ve lost by leaving the teaching profession.
I’ve lost my fluency in Teenager.
My own kids are no help: they’re ancient 20somethings now. The high schoolers who work with me sometimes at the bakery, they try, but we all live on a teeny little island.
Who knows if they’d get laughed out of an urban high school just as much as I would if I said, “Ya feel me?”
DO KIDS STILL SAY THAT???
Help me, blogworld. Ask the hippest teen you know. Then get back to me pronto. And if they
laugh their heads off at you say no, ask ’em what DO teens say now when they wish to inquire about the level of someone’s understanding of one’s emotional statements if someone gets ’em. (Or, if you ARE that hipster, ask yourself.)
The best current translation of “Ya feel me?” wins
a million bucks front-page status on Wing’s World, so let’s hear from y’all!