You Know, Children Are Like Ants

Welcome back and good evening listeners it is I again your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. You know recently I’ve been contemplating writing these blogs down on paper to have a more physical record of my thought, but I find that I do my best work on the web.

 

 

I’ll just see myself out.

 

 

Let’s try this whole introduction again, hello viewers, thank you for tuning in to my land of bad jokes and predicable sentence structure. I’d like to thank you for coming back willingly to suffer through another week of my ramblings. I’ve prepared for all of you today a grand new installment of my blog, potentially. I mean, I write these introductions independent of the actual content of these posts, and at this current moment in time I have no idea if the following paragraphs will actually be of any quality. It is exciting though, adventuring out into the unknown. I invite you, my viewing public, to join me in figuring out if this post is actually of any quality or not. Excelsior!

Metaphorically casting anchor in the flowing waters of time, we can disembark sometime around mid to late September of 2016. By this time, I had put a few more weeks of teaching under my belt and I was beginning to get a hang of this whole teaching thing. Being on my own with the students wasn’t such an imposition anymore. I was still taking about two hours a day of extra work to finish my lesson plans, but this was a marked improvement from the four hours a day I had been putting in daily not terribly long ago. Things were still far from ideal though. There was a problem that kept cropping up as I was enacting my lesson plans into classroom action. Through miscalculations or mistakes I kept running out of teaching materials five minutes before the end of class. When classes are only forty five minutes long to begin with that five minutes can seem like a pretty sizeable chunk of time lying unaccounted for.

Usually I do not have problems coming up with things on the fly. As I have painfully learned though, if you put me in a position of authority with no plan of action, I freeze. I have great difficulty in rapidly changing course without preexisting direction. What would happen is that I would have no idea of how to proceed and the seconds painfully ticked by accompanied with either cutting silence or the primate screeches of unsupervised children. I often caved into pressure and would allow the class to play games to pass the few remaining minutes until the sweet chimes of the bell released me from the responsibility of students. An unfortunate side effect of this coping mechanism soon became noticeable. After a few weeks following this action, the students began to take it for granted that they would be allowed to play games instead of attending to their book work. As I continued to practice the instructional profession I was able to get my lesson plans more on the mark, and I learned to improvise when things went awry. The precedent had been set though, and any time that games were not played it became a point of contention between myself and the students.

Besides the prolonged snafu with my classroom timing, I had let so many minor annoyances slide during the first month of teaching. Because of this the students erroneously began to believe that I was a big old softie when it came to discipline. As I was busy fretting over a few minutes on the clock, more malcontents whose purpose in life was to spread their seeds of disorder. Like disobedient pack animals, I have been training them ever since to not expect the cause and effect of class equals play time. It has been a long process though and even seven months in the students continue to ask for games at the beginning of class.

Before I close for the day, I would like to put down in words the three things that have just caused me the greatest mental torment as I went about my job.

First though I want to explain something slightly personal that feeds into my difficulties with surviving the classroom. I have this one pet peeve that has been dragged into the light of day by being around children. A source of great annoyance for me is when someone repeatedly says or does something that they learned from the internet. Independent of context and appropriateness said action or phrase is applied ad nauseam to the point where my body visibly shakes with wrathful intent. Anyone who has ever even vaguely heard of the concept of children in hushed whispers knows that repetitious inane prattle is basically the modus operandi of younglings. Isn’t Latin fun?

In place of jokes or basic human interaction the student, or dumpster baby as I will refer to them for the rest of this post, will bring out this tired shorthand for an internet joke that they heard that one time and kind of chuckled at, all to elicit cackling glee and approbation of the other roiling sea of dumpster babies. This “joke” was spread across the World Wide Web until every ounce of hilarity has been wrung out of it, leaving a juiceless husk raisin of comedy that some twelve year old somewhere is telling his underdeveloped fetus brained cohorts. It’s like an inside joke, if the people who are in on the joke is everyone, and the joke is that you have the memory capacity of a ferret.

So, to bring it all together, combine my irrational anger trigger with the universality of the internet and its ungodly ability to spread the detritus of entertainment to impressionable dumpster babies who possess a total inability to determine what is actually funny, and you end up with a recipe that when properly prepared makes me wish to flip a table on top of a small child. In the latter end of 2016 there have been three major offenders in this category.

The Dab

I don’t know where it came from, and frankly the amount of effort to look it up would be better served jamming a fork into my esophagus. This is the one I find least onerous to the mental stability of a classroom, mostly because it is a motion which both begins and ends quickly. A dab, also known as: a quick or light blow; a pat, as with the hand or something soft, thank you dictionary.com; is a motion to be employed in triumph or success, like a fist pump, but for horrible people. They celebrate the dab like they’ve just accomplished a triple backflip.

For the three people who have never seen a dab being employed I’ll describe it in all of its glory. Step one, extend both arms out to the side like you are pretending to be an airplane, engine noises optional. Step two; crook one elbow of your choice into a seventy five to ninety degree angle being careful not to exceed one hundred and fifteen degrees. Step three, attempt to violently head-butt your own elbow through the already in place crooked arm. Really slap them together like you are playing spoons with your face meat. Step four; be engendered with the shame that comes with realizing that your sense of self is slowly being eroded by hive mind mentality. Step five; I’m bad at lists. Step six; draw up the pentagrams. Step seven; summon the Assyrian demon lord Pazuzu.

Before I continue impress my hatred I will say that there is one thing that I appreciate about this craze. Simply put, that if out in the wild I see a person diddle dabbling their arms like a confused cephalopod it expresses to me a great deal of information. The majority of that information details how I never need to speak to that person.

All joking aside, the only times when I really have a problem with this action is when the dumpster babies stop the entire class to make sure everyone witnesses their magically unique take on this pointless action. Also there is the fact that it is used in conjunction with other perpetrators on this list so it does merit extra anger points.

PPAP

The one that tickles my anger button the most. To all of those brave heroes who have not seen the PPAP video, I covet your existence. PPAP is an acronym for Pen Pineapple Apple Pen. Because apparently I am an octogenarian in disguise I did not hear word one of this craze until the youth brought it to my attention. In the video that originated this two month long craze, there is an affable looking middle aged Asian man adorned with unfortunate attire. He looks as though he is a tribal hunter and tracker who survives harsh weather conditions by skinning and sewing the skins of his prey into a traditional garb. His quarry in this case would appear to be a roaming species of couches that gained sentience and began to roam the planes in the early 1970s. It is a species which he has apparently hunted to near extinction for the prized pelt of their leader Couchfang the Graceful.

Said affable man dances, sings, and mimes his way into the darkest depths of my hate glands. He informs listeners that if you stab fruit with pens that you can then combine English words together. At first I actually saw some utility in the song as it did theoretically expand the vocabulary of the children who listened to it. He jams imaginary produce and Bic’s together into some kind of sick twisted fruit and writing utensil centipede. I think that the moral of the video is a bit irresponsible of its creator. Once you forcibly introduce a pen of the ballpoint variety to interior of a juicy fruit, said writing tool will never write the same.

Now I do want to backtrack a little on my grand outpouring of hatred. I harbor no ill feelings towards the man who created the video. He just wished to create a fun catchy little video because apparently mangling produce is the fiery passion of his soul. I only begrudge the gremlins who have repeated the lyrics of this song until my very dreams are haunted by their utterance. This one gets me right in the pet peeve area, and it stops classes midstride as everyone thinks that it’s open karaoke night at the local dive bar.

 

The Bottle Flip Challenge

This one is pretty self-explanatory when it comes down to it. A person who is bored picks up a bottle and then flips it in the air. If it lands bottom side down without falling over everyone dabs and we all get one moment closer to the heat death of the universe. This is the fad that I find myself the most conflicted by; as it is the one that I understand the most. People, especially children, who are stuck sitting still for any amount of time, will eventually get fidgety. I entirely get the desire to use your hands to manipulate an object, to help you focus or at the very least keep yourself awake in cases of extreme dullness. Outside of a teaching position I don’t even have a problem with the act itself. However, when I am in the middle of explaining a difficult part of English grammar and I hear a fwip as the bottle leaves the hand and a loud bang as a liquid filled object slams into a table, my own personal Mr. Hyde comes out to say hello. It doesn’t help that the dumpster babies that do this are almost always the children who are the most openly hostile towards classroom rules.

Whereas the youth of today have largely grown tired of PPAP allowing it to mercifully rescind its siren song back into the depths of irrelevance whence it belongs, the bottle flip and the dab continue to erode the very fabric of polite civilization all the way to the present. Although I have come up with an elegant solution for the bottle flip and that is to confiscate any bottle which achieves liftoff during school hours.

Now before I get told that I am spewing bile in every direction but my own, I am not above saying that I too was a fool. The only difference is that I didn’t have to teach myself at this age. I would have desired to bring to an end my dumpster baby self under these exact same circumstances. I mean anyone who lived through the 2000s with any amount of television knowledge should tragically remember the whazzuuuuup craze. Then those people who remember it should then promptly begin weeping and gnashing their teeth at the remembrance of such madness. To this day I still fall victim to the easy reference for laughs, I am not greater developed or above the same activities that I have just angrily complained about. Essentially I wish for everyone to take my venomous comments with a grain of understanding that I am somewhat of a hypocrite, however I do hope that no one has been subjected to my jackassery against their volition.

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Hoo boy, this post feels a little more wrathful than usual to me, but I guess that’s what happens when I talk about children. For those of you who have not given in to the dark side, I do apologize for the negativity. Final disclaimer, any of my readers who have actually derived joy from any of these internet institutions, I mean no disrespect or ill will against you, as you have made the informed decision to enjoy these memes whilst not near me. I thank you for that kindness. I hope you enjoyed the longer one this time. To all of my readers, I say good day, good night, and good reading.

 

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