Sunday, March 15, 2009

Small Talk

While washing my hair, a young girl tells me about her classes at the community college. She thinks she'll probably transfer to a four year school, and "go for" teaching. "Might as well" she adds. Next, she gives me a rundown of what she'll be doing this weekend.

"My boyfriend and I are going to this big party on Saturday night, and an even bigger one Sunday night. We're gonna be sooooo trashed. I'm gonna be soooooo tired. I'm gonna have to call my teacher tonight."

"Why?" I ask, bored with what I already know she's going to say.

"Well, there's no way I can go to an 8:00 am class and take an exam. Screw that. He's gonna have to let me make it up, 'cause I'm NOT taking an exam on a Monday morning when I'm so tired. Besides, I wanna have a good time Sunday night, ya know?"

"Mmmmmm, yeah" I reply, glad she has at this point hastily thrown a towel over my head, so she can't see the face I'm making. She will one day be someone's teacher. Lovely.

I then walk over to my favorite stylist's station and take my seat at the mirror. I look straight ahead, watching her behind me, her scissors flying around my head. As she does her magic, I compliment her on her tousled, brown curls, and congratulate her on her recent wedding. There's something radiant about her, and I realize she's happy, in love, the world ahead of her.

We talk about movies. She and her husband have just seen the one that has garnered all the awards last month. "I hated it!" she complains. "It was awful to see how they live! Why do I need to see that? How depressing! Why make a movie like that? My life is good. I don't need to see all that."

I remained quiet. I felt disappointed. I wanted to tell these girls so many things. But, I am not their teacher.


Anonymous said...

Some people should remain washing hair and sweeping floors...enjoyed the flow of the story and the snaphot of young American women, who may be very typical.

Spanish Joe said...

I find it appalling the attitude of some of the students I meet who are supposedly going to be teachers as well. It seems that many people who contemplate pursuing a degree assume they can "fall back" on teaching as if it is that type of job. I suppose is America, it has garnered that reputation; with the level of control taken out of the teacher's hands in the classroom, I can see why. It is still sad to see, though.