The art of substitute teaching is an easy one to learn; I took a 3-day course that basically consisted of the repeated plea, “Don’t touch the kids. Please, don’t touch the kids. They’re kids, for God’s sake, don’t touch them. Why would you want to touch the kids, you pervert?” Apparently that’s considered extensive screening for pedophiles.
Either way, the end result of the course is that you get to substitute teach, and it is generally a very easy gig. Basically: Show up, babysit, go home.
Frighteningly enough, there are days when it is easier than even that description; those days are when you have a student teacher or guest speaker.
A student teacher is just what it sounds like: a kid ready to graduate from college with a degree in teaching comes in and does absolutely everything, while you fiddle away the hours wishing the school didn’t block Facebook on its servers. Because the kid isn’t actually certified, you have to be in the room, but since they’re doing everything, you’re technically a functionless potato. Like Stedman Graham or Joe Biden.
The guest speaker scenario is fairly similar, the only difference being that you work for five seconds at the outset of class; you stand in front of the students and say, “Today we have a guest speaker. Let’s all show him/her a little respect.” Then you assume your spot in the back of the room wishing the school didn’t block Facebook on its servers.
It was with one particular guest lecturer I almost blew my top; it is the only time I have ever had to actively withhold anger in the classroom, and it was because the bullshit the woman was spewing made me want to scream at her.
The lecturer was a woman from a local “Women’s Health” clinic; maybe Planned Parenthood, maybe somewhere else. I don’t remember. The woman was a pudgy, Flower-Child sort of New-Age person. Her hair was a little greasy, and her aura radiated a love of brownies and pot (and pot brownies) more than sexual knowledge. To see her picture would be to imagine a patchouli smell. She was also frumpy, meaning suspicions would run high that the patchouli smell was covering body odor, because showering wasn’t a top priority in her life, and neither was—one would guess—shaving her armpits or legs.
I describe her because when dispensing information, it is important your personal image fits the topic being discussed. Yes, a black man could lecture on the benefits of Mormonism, just as a white man could discuss the importance of N.W.A. and Public Enemy to the history of rap music, but each would have to fight the stereotype of who they are before being considered an authority on the subject. The woman in front of impressionable students that day was discussing sexual education, and having a non-sexual, Saturday Night Live “It’s Pat” describing sex to teens is simply a bad idea, and awkward for everyone watching.
In full candor, I don’t really remember the content of 90% of her speech; she might have been brilliant for the first 25 minutes of her lecture. What had me so angry was the fake Q&A that filled the final few minutes of each class.
According to the woman’s folklore, before the lecture the kids wrote down a series of anonymous questions and placed them in a box. She was going to pull out these wonders and read them, giving the students a safe zone for the discussion of what would otherwise be awkward and embarrassing topics involving sex and the human body. As I hadn’t seen any students write down any questions, my bullshit alarm started sounding immediately. Was she planting questions to serve an agenda of her own making? This suspicion was pretty much confirmed when the exact same questions were answered in every class. I sat in the back of the room, thinking, “Really? Every student from every class asked the same few questions? Yeah, right.”
So, what were the offending answers-to-faked questions?
“A girl asks: ‘Should I shave down there?’ NO. NO. Hair is NATURAL. It absorbs moisture, and shaving your pubic hair is a fad. If anyone has a problem with the amount of pubic hair you have, it is their shortcoming, not yours.”
Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me? I wanted to shout, “Oh FUCK YOU” at the top of my lungs.
Imagine any of the poor girls in class that day actually believing her. They get to college and are ready for their first sexual experience (if their parents raised them right)… her partner unbuttons her jeans, she does that delightful hip-lift that allows the pants to slide off… and out comes an unkempt birds nest of nappy, tangled hair more at home atop an African American’s head in the 1970s than between the legs of any woman.
She will be laughed at, get a reputation, and humiliated. Yes, there are some people who like the down-below afro, but they are few and far between; a fetish is known as a fetish because it lies outside the norm, not because it’s a mainstream part of society.
“Next question: ‘A boy asks: Does size matter?’ NO. NO. Size does NOT matter. Every penis is different, and some are bigger, and smaller, than others. Whatever you have is JUST FINE.”
Again: FUCK. YOU.
Same scenario as before: A boy is having his first sexual experience. He’s nervous, he’s excited, but he’s confident is one-inch wonder worm is fine and dandy, because the hippie-woman told him so. He whips out, and… WAIT, WHY IS SHE LAUGHING? SHE’S POINTING AND LAUGHING.
And by morning, all her friends will know, and he will be plagued with the angst of teen-agony that has led to suicide. Yes, having a “fun-size” candy bar for a penis might make anal sex easier for a woman, but that’s about all it’s good for.
Am I being a little dramatic? I don’t think so. Teenagers have fragile, easily-destroyed egos. When it comes to sexuality and acceptance, insecurities skyrocket. To be known in high school or college as the woman with a Mount Rushmore of pubic hair, or to be the boy with a Thumbelina penis… that shit will scar a kid for life.
Had I been in charge that day, I would have told the kids: No one cares what nature intended. With pubic hair, aesthetics have taken over and it is important to trim not just for that reason, but also for the sake of whatever partner’s tongue you end up with. No one of either gender wants a mouthful of hair when they provide oral pleasure, so tidy up.
And speaking of oral pleasure, boys, if your junk isn’t up to snuff, learn to use your tongue in unimaginable ways. If she’s into penetration, you have digits that are more bendable than your William, so put ‘em in and move ‘em around. And bring a toy to make up for your shortcomings. If you’re gay and tiny? Buck up, soldier, you can always be a bottom.
I don’t expect any high school kids to be reading my blog; hell, I don’t expect anyone at all to make their way through my ramblings. But I do hope that every student in the classroom damaged by that woman has friends who will contradict her inaccuracies. I hope girls will be taken aside and told of the joys of the Gillette Venus, and that boys will be told about the little man in the boat, and what to do with it.
And thank Christ for the Internet. In the days of old, the advice of this “expert” would have gone un-challenged. Today, when too ashamed to talk to their friends about their naughty-parts, kids can Google up all the information they need.
God Bless America, and God Bless YouPorn.