Friday, November 18, 2011

Tales from the Locker Room (and Other Stalk-Worthy Places)

Okay, so I really don’t stalk the locker room, but I do pick up on some interesting things in my classroom and in the hallways. I've bribed a few former students into doing my dirty lurking. And I have some classes willing to answer some questions (cause they LOVE me).

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to focus today's post on what kids are thankful for. Enjoy!

Despite popular opinion, teenagers ARE appreciative. There are teenagers that STILL say thank you. There are kids who do pick up their trash and push in their chair without prompting and reach out to help others. There are a lot of teens out there who are grateful human beings. So, I asked over seventy teens, ranging in age from 14-18, what they are really thankful for. I was a little worried they wouldn’t give me HONEST responses so I bullied (just kidding...sort of) them into telling me not what they think they SHOULD be thankful for, just genuine gut reaction.

Here’s what they had to say…

God, playing football this time of year, a place to live, parents who pay for everything, nieces, nephews, girlfriends, big family dinner, teachers, coaches, music, grandparents, boyfriends, education, health, having fun, being able to run track, iPod, house, cell phone, school, good looks, clothes, dog, a heart, shoes, food, a car…

The ones I heard the most:

1) Family (specifically—mom and dad)
2) Friends
3) Being alive

And some that brought on a few tears (okay A LOT)

• finally finding something to make me happy
• I am thankful for myself and all the positive changes in my life
• For overcoming my past
• That my dad did not get hit by that sniper
• A second chance in life with my brother
• For my dad and all he does to provide for me and my brother
• For being able to live my life how I want to

And because Thanksgiving always makes me think of Black Friday, I asked a bunch of teenagers what’s on their Christmas list. (red items were the most popular)

money, iPhone 4S, clothes, boots, rims for car, Nikon camera (I heard this one more than once), vacations, a boyfriend, cell phone, iPod Touch, food, games, a new guitar, GPS, flat screen, a white Christmas, four-wheelers, a car, ASUS, Alienware, coat, a truck, a puppy, laptop, hunting rifle, new radio, Sperrys, music, fuzzy socks, XBOX 360, weight bench, Toys R Us Gift Card, jewelry, car seat covers, smell goods

Okay, so maybe knowing what kids want for Christmas won’t exactly help you write your YA novel, but maybe you’ve got that niece or nephew to buy for. Or you have a tween and want to know how much debt you’ll incur as he or she gets older—LIKE ME.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the new word floating around the halls and in the classrooms.

Neck: what you say when someone does something stupid, sometimes accompanied by a slap on the neck.

Teen #1: When’s the soccer game, bro?

Teen #2: Um… yesterday. NECK.

Or in my classroom…

Student 1: Can you do number 10?

Student 2: She just did that one. NECK.

I hear it about fifty times a day.

My kids also make up words and word sandwiches almost as much as I do. In September, I introduced you to swagg. My kids still say it, except with new swagg. Things are now swaggalicious. And swaggtastic. And they draw pics on my board of Swagg-a-soarus Rex. Or call me their swagg mama.

Love it. Love them.


So, what are YOU thankful for? What’s on YOUR Christmas list? And teens, any new wordage floating around the halls at YOUR schools?


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