Monday, July 10, 2006

Striking yet another blow against ignorance.

I enjoy teaching, I really do — sure, teenagers act like aliens most of the time, but they do have some pretty endearing qualities — and one of the most awesomest things about teaching is that you get a little pulpit every day from which to speak your mind, to right some wrongs, to set things straight.

(Mind you, it's tough to draw the line between "telling the kids what they really need to know in this world" and "blatant prostletyzing," but I think I walk it pretty well.)

Today, in my morning class (our summer school is one 3-hour morning class, then a different crew in for the 3-hour afternoon class), one of the kids who doesn't speak English as her/his first language asked me what a particular word was in today's horoscope in the 24.

I lost it. So I decided to take it out on the entire class.

Me, midly disturbed: "Horoscopes, psychics, fortune-tellers, people who claim they can act as a medium to the deceased... they're all CRAP. Every last one of them. The Babylonians disproved horoscopes THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO, for crying out loud."

Kid #1, feebly: "But I read my horoscope, and sometimes they're true."

Me, sardonically: "Yeah, about one-twelfth of the time, let me guess. And they're so vague: 'Today is a good day to settle debts.' Well, you know what, every day is a good day to settle debts! Have you never heard of a little thing called interest?"

Kid #2, vigorously: "Right on! Read the one today, sir, it's stupid, and it doesn't mean anything."

Me, invigorated: "If I read in the paper today that, at 5:14 pm today, I'd bend over to tie my shoe, now that would be something."

Kid #1, again feebly: "I don't read the ones in the paper. Those aren't real horoscopes."

Me, with a laser-focus: "Dozens upon dozens of studies have proven that all horoscopes, and everything else associated with them, are a hoax, and are, again, absolute crap. Nothing like that has ever been scientifically proven, ever. You have got to believe in things you can see, that you can test scientifically. These are things we can prove to be true, and then there's things like horoscopes. There's a reason they belong on the same page as the Sudoku: they can predict your future about equally well. Do not, repeat, do not believe in horoscopes."

Kid #3, being a smartass: "Well, what about religion, then?"

Me, after a short pause: "Hey, I don't want to get fired here."

[class laughs]

Me, a little quieter: "...but I think you know where I probably stand on that."


Anonymous said...

Arrrghh I'm living through you! Unleash the fury! Throw some chalk! Maybe next time, can I be your 'guest rant'?


Muffin said...

It may not apply any more, but back when the time of year strongly affected how well a mother was eating or how cold or stressed she was, etc etc etc, the time when you were born could very well have affected your personality and so horoscopes may have actually meant something (if they depended on your personality as opposed to things that were "written in the stars").

kelly o! said...

The Scene: Indigo
The Music: "Light My Fire" by The Doors

I was heading out of Indigo today after resisting the urge to buy books. There were two boys and their mom, and the younger boy asked, "Is Jim Morrison dead?"