Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Friday, November 03, 2006

More Friday Fun Corner

Okay, I have no idea what that means, but it sounded better than "a whole bunch of unrelated stuff".

A friend of mine teaches seventh grade social studies. He is a freakin' saint. His students call him Mr. Pina Colada because his name ends in an "a" - cripes, these kids can't even RHYME!! Anyway, we were discussing his recent lesson on the pioneers. "They're bored," he said. "And what's worse is, I'm not a big fan of the pioneers myself so I'm really struggling to teach this. What kind of assignment should I give them for this topic? I cannot read another book report on Little House in the Big Woods."

"Oh! I know! I know!" I said in my obnoxious teacher's pet voice (I think I even raised my hand). "Have them do a diorama." He looked terrified. "Do you mean 'diarrhea'?" I rolled my eyes. "I think if I meant diarrhea, I would have said 'diarrhea'. And I don't even want to know what that kind of assignment would entail." He had never heard of a diorama. I swear, I made at least 4 or 5 of these between third and seventh grade. He thought I was making it up. Am I alone here? Anybody else ever have to do a diorama?
I have finally figured out what my new career is going to be. I found it yesterday, while perusing my new Time magazine. I'm going to be a "personal marketing consultant." Why the hell not? Recent college graduates (and apparently anyone else who doesn't know what they're doing with their lives) pay these folks anywhere from one to three grand to tell them who they are. I can do that! I know a fair amount about astrology, both Chinese and Western. I watch way too much television. I get too many magazines. I'm judgmental and bitter. How hard can it be? "Let's see here, Timmy . . . You are a Capricorn born in the year of the Rat, and from looking at you, I see that you're sloppy, lazy and you happen to be stoned most of the time . . . I'm going to say you're a modern day Cheech Marin, with just a touch of Johnny Knoxville and a sprinkle of Nick Nolte from his DUI mug shot. We'll call it, 'Slacker chic' and your ideal job is operating a ski lift. That will be $3,000, please."
More ranting about drivers: With my new commute, I am spending a LOT more time in the car. And I do not enjoy it. I know everyone thinks they are a really good driver (or an "excellent driver" in some cases) but this is not statistically possible. Most of us are going to be "average" drivers with some spectacular and some spectacularly heinous drivers filling out the tails of the bell curve. I'd like to think I'm a slightly better than average driver. Here is why: I use my fucking turn signal!!!!!!! I believe I've said this before, but if you are physically incapable of lifting your arm to operate your turn signal, you should not be driving!! A few other things: Going 45 miles an hour on a one-lane, 35 mile an hour street is fast enough. Get off of my ass, you effing tailgaters!!! One of these days, I will slam on my brakes and you will be sorry. To quote Evelyn Couch from Fried Green Tomatoes, "I'm older and I have more insurance." Plus, as we all know - it's the "rear-ender" who is at fault. That'll teach ya to tailgate!!! Bastards.

At the other extreme, we have the drivers who seem to be afraid to go the speed limit. Really, it's okay. You can do 35MPH and not get hurt. In fact, you're probably safer than when you're going your 26MPH, because it's only a matter of time before the tailgaters get ya.

This is how a toll booth works: Step 1.) Hand over your ticket. Step 2.) Hand over appropriate amount of money. Step 3.) Drive the fuck away, already!!!! The toll booth is not the place to: ask for directions; chat about the weather; spend 20 minutes digging in your purse or wallet for the exact change. Although you may be on vacation, some of us have places to go - like work, and chances are excellent that we are already late. So save the small talk for your waitress and lemme get on my way!
I really do love Christmas. I love the cookies and the decorations and the cheesy Christmas songs. I love the TV specials and stockings and trees and all that crap. But, even I had to say when I drove by a small store last night, "You are really pushing it." Because said store was completely pimped out for the holiday season. Lights display complete with entire gingerbread village - in, well, LIGHTS!! I'm going to be digging Halloween candy out of my freezer for at least another 6 weeks. I need some "down time" in between the holiday madness.

That is all. Clearly, I have nothing nice to say, but that still didn't stop me. See you tomorrow (if you haven't stopped reading!)

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Blogger Fraulein N said...

I love the random meandering-ness (is TOO a word) of this entry. I used to rock the hell out of a diorama back in middle school. My favorite was one for Charlotte's Web; I made a spider out of clay and it actually looked pretty good. Any kid who didn't get to make at least one diorama was robbed.

November 03, 2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger desiree said...

I really, really, REALLY want to be a personal marketing consultant now. Oh holy hell, you do understand the NEED I am experiencing to have this job. The possibilities are endless, I imagine a world shaped by my decisions and I am tickled pink. I also imagine a world in which I have the power to make people get sterilized and and so gleefully happy that I fear the crash when I come off of this high will be quite ugly...but one can dream...

November 03, 2006 1:52 PM  
Blogger Silliyak said...

1. Dioramas- did 'em,hated 'em
2. Tailgators- I use my left foot to tap the brake peddle for a "imagine if I REALLY had braked" moment

November 03, 2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger That Girl said...

Bravo on the turn signal rant. Seriously, if we weren't meant to use them they wouldn't have put them on the car in the first place. My biggest driving pet peeve!

November 03, 2006 4:01 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Dioramas, yay! I had to do those, but my mom always made them for me. I don't know why, she also made all the cover for the reports I did. So annoying. So I showed her, and it was off to art school I went, mwah hahaha!

November 03, 2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger The "Mind" said...

I love random posts.

Let's see.

Dioramas. I have done several of my own and helped each kid with several of their own. I can't believe a teacher has never heard of them.

You could also suggest a webbe for your teacher friend. Older students might get into that a bit more than a diorama.

Love your new career choice.

Tawanda! That was the best scene in that movie.

When I drove to work yesterday I noticed a house that was completely decked out in Christmas too. WTF is up with that? The stores I understand, but someone's house? Geez.

November 03, 2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger maikaojai said...

Ooh, ooh, I did! I did! (Make dioramas, that is.)

Oh yeah. I still compulsively save shoeboxes--I wonder if I'm subconsciously hoping that someone will ask me to contribute to the next committee meeting in diorama form.

Imagine how much more fun committee work would be!

November 03, 2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger jackie said...

I LOVED dioramas. I would make a diorama right now if I had a good shoebox and some puffy paint.

November 03, 2006 7:03 PM  
Blogger Tense Teacher said...

I built the most awesome dioramas for The Secret Garden and Island of the Blue Dolphins. I was the diorama princess of elementary school.

November 03, 2006 8:55 PM  
Blogger William the Coroner said...

Dioramas. Did 'em. Got pretty good at them, but I was a modeller geek.

I, personally, want to be a dope slap therapist. It may not help other people, but it'll make me feel better.

November 04, 2006 9:49 AM  
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

Yes I know what a diorama is. I went to a Catholic school where they substituted handwriting skills and diorama making for useful education. Never throw out a shoe box because you never know when you'll need to make a diorama

November 04, 2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Yeah, I did a few dioramas in my day. My favorite (although it wasn't exactly a diorama) was when we had to make wigwams and we put brown paper bag paper on a shoebox. I don't know WHY, but that always tickled me.

My mom always helped with my projects, too. And during every project, we'd get all testy and snippy at each other and kinda blow up, and then we'd finish and it'd be great and I'd get a good grade and we loved each other again.

November 05, 2006 1:19 AM  

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