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Friday, September 23, 2005


Kids Say The Darndest Things

I had a little cross-cultural hilarity in my classroom today. I teach in a neighborhood of the Bronx that is a mix of mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican, with a seasoning of Jamaican, Middle Eastern and Dutch. (I'm kidding. There's no Dutch.)

So today, I'm walking around, checking on the work my kids are doing and these two little seventh-graders are painting their nails black with a Crayola marker. The one kid shows me his hand and says, "Mr. Wack, look: I'm Gothic."

To which I replied, "Are you telling me you're a style of architecture?"

The boy was somewhat indignant. "No, no. I'm Gothic! You know, like worshipping Satan and all that?"

I tried to set him straight. I said, "Oscar, 'Gothic' is a type of literature or a type of architecture, both overblown and foreboding. Are you a type of literature?"

He persisted. "I'm Gothic."

I said, "Let me be clear: What you're trying to tell me is that you're 'Goth'. 'Goth' refers to really pretentious pale kids who listen to crappy music and pose a lot. 'Gothic' is a particular aesthetic style. In truth, you are not Gothic and neither are you Goth, as you have no idea who The Cure are. Now please get to work."

I looked at him to make sure I'd clarified the situation. He looked at me and said, "I'm Gothic."

I think I might flunk him.

Hahahahhaha. I can relate.
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