Sh!t kids say

So I’ve been volunteering at a new place this semester. Before, I was teaching biology at Sociedad Latina. And it was total disaster. Every week, for those six hours a week, I dreaded going. Something had to change. After consulting with my Civic Engagement Program advisor (who was very understanding) I switched organizations, to the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club.

Thus I’ve been volunteering in the Boys and Girls Club art room for the last few months. It’s been so much better. So much. For one, there’s a lot less pressure. I’m not expected to teach kids science, in a fun and engaging way, every week, 6 hours a week. I’m also not expected to keep them in line, by myself, as I was at Sociedad. No. At the Boys and Girls Club, I simply assist the head art teacher as he engages the kids in various projects. And we’re working with art. I love it. The kids love it.

Yeah. Switching was the right decision. I actually look forward to volunteering now.

Still, it’s a challenge. The kids are still crazy, and the place is still chaotic. Imagine giving a room six and seven year olds craft supplies. Now imagine what the room would look like two hours later.

(It looks kind of like this)

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, and that photo is NOT of the Boys and Girls Club. But still. It gets crazy.

The atmosphere of the art room is much more relaxed as well. At Sociedad Latina, kids were *supposed* to do their homework in silence. In the art room, kids can casually chat while drawing their pictures.

Which means I get to listen in to the thoughts of our generation’s elementary and middle schoolers…

Sometimes it’s been nothing short of horrifying.

Or a little gross…

Or sometimes, totally heartbreaking.

The art teacher and I have noticed some rather upsetting trends among the kids, in fact. Call me a stickler, but I honestly don’t think these kids need smartphones.

And– this is going to sound really hipster, but I’ve seen it in action– these kids are often a little brainwashed. Spoon-fed by the media, I guess. They’ll spend their time obsessing over Nicki Minaj and LMFAO, reading sensational murder articles to each other, gossiping about Kim Kardashian. And they’re, like, 10. I was shocked by this conversation I got into with a kid…

Perhaps the most difficult thing is to get kids to try. Art is a touchy subject, it seems– when kids’ drawings don’t turn out exactly the way they want on the first try, they give up. Immediately. Or they’ll ask you to draw things for them. I try to explain the importance of persistance, how essential practice is. But I suppose, at that age, it’s hard to imagine.

But I really have to take everything with a grain of salt. I don’t know what it’s like in their shoes. I didn’t grow up in the city, in a poor or disadvantaged area. My parents have always pushed me to be independent, to think for myself, to fight to excel. Some of these kids don’t have the luxury of being told that they can.

It’s been an interesting semester.

9 thoughts on “Sh!t kids say

  1. Wow! What a way to end a blog post.

    I love the expression of the girl who says, “But I can’t draaawwwww”. I also remember being like that when I was her age.

    The part about the kids being so brainwashed by popular media, and talking about Kim Kardashian…. wow, this is what the world is becoming. And its SAD. Seriously, popular media, wise up! Where is our livelihood?

    I laughed when the boy literally drew dead MLK. Maybe that’s my type of humour… which would actually make me pretty childish. -_- Kids these days… 🙂

    • Nah, it was a pretty funny situation. If not a little unsettling. The kid just took things very, very literally! No harm in that.
      Oh, it’s so true. The kinds of shows on TV these days– 16 and Pregnant, Dance Moms, The Real Housewives– all of these I’ve heard discussed by the kids. I say we just make ’em all watch anime. At least that way they can learn about the power of friendship, and hard work, and the like.

        • Hah, true. It’s just so hard to break through the stereotype that animation is for kids. For example– have you ever seen the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox? It’s an amazing movie– critics raved over it, and I personally loved it– but the humor is definitely geared towards adults. And as a result, it didn’t do so well at the box office despite being really, really good. It’s too bad!

  2. 1) 18 years old and I’m not running around with an iPhone. Still using a trusty flip phone (with no QWERTY keyboard). I can actually still remember people fighting over whose phone was better, and so many people were like “FLIP PHONES!!” Now there is no debate, it is that darn iPhone 5!! (Dang, I want one)

    2) AAAAHHHHH!!!! Fantastic Mr. Fox has my single favorite ending scene of any movie! I won’t reveal anything for anyone, but there is no excuse for not watching it! I’m talking to you littlewonder2. Great place to know what the critics think about movies: Rotten Tomatoes:

    3) While I personally agree, that anime is awesome!! There is only one TV show (besides One Piece) that I would recommend to, not only to these kids, but to all humans on Earth. The aptly named Planet Earth, which is a documentary about animals. The show has the highest rating of any TV show ever on the popular movie/TV website IMdB: And unlike your usual animal documentaries, this show has some of the greatest animal footage and narration of any television show! It is appropriate for all ages, genders, ethnicities, and extra-terrestrials. If aliens come to Earth and want to learn about the animal life on Earth, then we should show them this TV series (unless they came to harvest and eat our corn and wheat (we need those (bet you thought I was going to say cabbage))).


    • 1. I have friends who still have flip phones! There’s nothing wrong with flip phones, I say– they’re still perfectly functional. Of course, I’m no one to talk with my QWERTY keyboard phone.

      2. I AGREE ABOUT FANTASTIC MR. FOX. It’s such an amazing movie. Everyone over the age of 14 should watch it!

      3. While I haven’t seen Planet Earth, I have seen the companion film Earth. I totally love the movie (most stunning footage I have EVER seen) so I should probably get up to speed and watch the show! (And, if you haven’t seen it yet, I also recommend Oceans. Same studio, except it’s about aquatic animals this time!)

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