Sunday, June 04, 2006

What's Normal To You...

The remarkable thing about my students – or any students from an area like this, I suppose – is what they consider normal. We went to a park downtown (to eat lunch after a field trip), and when it was time to clean up, I said that each kid had to pick up their own trash and ten extra pieces. Then I clarified that they were to leave the beer cans and the cigarette butts. They looked at me strangely, because they didn’t seem to see anything wrong with picking up beer cans and cigarette butts. In fact, a few of them kept picking up the cigarettes even though I kept telling them not to. But the leaves and sticks freaked them out. Almost every child came up to me with a leaf or a stick and asked, “Does this count as trash?” “No, that’s nature.” “Teacher, how that nature? That trash!"

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