Pepcid AC please or Nada

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I had a miserable experience this week. And because I am a passionate person, the experience still sits in my gut as sour as curdled milk.

In short, I visited a  classroom at one of the top public high schools in the country, the same school where I taught in the honors English program for 16 years. In those days, students lingered in my room, anxious to discuss everything from nada to dada.

I left that school in 1998 to open my own small academy in the private sector.

A  student employee at my academy, who is a high school senior,  invited me to share my experiences in small business.

Sure. I will be delighted to come and share.

During my one hour in the classroom, I performed the following tasks:

•    Greeted the students.
•    Asked them politely to close their computers, put away their cell phones, and stop texting.
•    Began my discussion about starting a small business and getting a loan.
•    Again asked them politely to stop texting and talking.
•    Again asked one student to stop texting and stop showing me her back.
•    Excused the rude student from the classroom.
•    Was shoved in my rolling chair by the student as she left the classroom.
•    Gave my talk on risk tolerance, business successes and business failures.
•    Left the school for lunch with my mentor Joe.
•    Agreed with Joe’s insistence that  I call the school and report the incident.
•    Called the vice-principal and asked that the student be suspended.
•    Returned to my office.

I am a master teacher and can work a room as well as  Barack Obama, but on Monday last, I was a disrespected guest speaker.

Nada gonna do that again.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Writing and Teaching and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pepcid AC please or Nada

  1. “…Asked them politely to close their computers, put away their cell phones, and stop texting…..”

    They are students from prosperous bourgeois backgrounds, perhaps?

    Is this behaviour the norm now in public high schools?

    Anyway, it must have been very distressing experience for you, and I hope you are now recovered at least somewhat from it.

  2. andreaskluth says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    Is this an extreme instance, or the norm in public schools (perhaps just schools in general)?

    this kids are driving while texting, eating while texting….

    I’ve long been fascinated by the lag in new-tech adoption and sociological/etiquette adjustment. Clearly, there has not been much of an adjustment.

    Curious: How did you, as speaker, handle this? Were you able to concentrate and speak coherent phrases? I think I would have been too distracted to continue.

  3. Cheri says:

    Thank you for your words.

    Let’s see. As my stool was moving toward the first row via her casual push, I asked the other students my first question: How risk tolerant are you?

    As you can imagine, there is more to this story but it is unsuitable for publication.

    We know there are schools, both public and private, that have standards and uphold them. It is as simple as that and not a factor of income, race, or intelligence.

  4. Dina says:

    My gut soured just imagining what that experience must have been like. It reminds me of an article that ran on cnn.com not too long ago. The article was about the new rapid-fire way of communicating via twitter and other social-networking tools and how scientists warn it could numb our sense of morality. I think that girl had to have had a numbed sense of morality to treat you with such utter disrespect.

  5. Cheri says:

    Welcome to WordPress, Dina. Glad to see your site back up and running (a pun intended).

  6. Brighid says:

    As I have several college and high school grands, I’ve been put to the test with texting, networking, etc. They are high achievers, well rounded kids and have had the fear of death put in them : that it is extremely rude to be texting while someone is trying to speak to you. It is working for the most part.
    Have we lost the art of listening, of thinking for ourselves, of respect?
    I for one am tired of adults as well as children, texting while talking to me?, or answering their cell, while the person infront of them waits. My answer at this time is to simply turn around and walk away, and go about my business.

  7. Cheri says:

    Relevant question, Brighid.
    Regarding the art of listening and the challenge of removing ego from a conversation, I offer this lovely meditation (as my friend Andreas Kluth would call it) to you:
    http://www.stjohnscollege.edu/about/dialogue.shtml

  8. Chourou says:

    Hi,Cheri.
    Same here in Japan, I would say.
    And I’d like to just mention that at one office you can see lots of adults who look so busy texting their private mails or surfing web pages during a meeting or whatever.

    For you, Pepcid AC, and for us, Gaster 1o(the most popular one here).

  9. Cheri says:

    So are you saying that during a meeting, when someone is presenting an idea, adults (grown-ups!) are texting?

    Then what can we expect from kids when the mamas/papas are showing them the ropes ( Chourou..the ropes is idiomatic for the way to do something 🙂 )

  10. Pingback: The Ping Dynasty « Notes from Around the Block

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