So today I totally stole my lesson from Ms. P. We've been learning about the Silk Road and ancient China and in order to learn about cultural diffusion and globalization she'd compared the Internet of today to the Silk Road of the past. I thought that was clever and interesting and totally ripped it off. Of course I didn't have to steal it because Ms. P sent her graphic organizers and PowerPoint to me when I asked.
At one point we were discussing what the Internet gives us and allows us to do, and one of the boys in the back of the room said "PORN!" I had to smirk and say "Let's keep it school appropriate please!" while inside I was itching to have that conversation. What are the ramifications of globally homogenized desire and standards of beauty/attraction? What are the consequences of young girls and boys watching gonzo porn from an early age? What expectations will they have? What myths? What roles will they adopt? Will people viewing porn around the world have happier, more liberated sex, or will they be trapped in someone else's idea of what's hot? What evidence do we have of a globalization of porn? Bukake? Amateur videos created in Indonesia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East featuring the standard tropes of California porn?
Were I still teaching at the University level, we'd have had that conversation. I can't do so with middle school kids.
My job challenges me no end. I've never had a job where I felt out of my league so often, continuously puzzled about how to do it and get it done well, where I worked 50 hours plus routinely and had to pick and choose what I could get done. But the challenges not intellectual challenges. I crave intellectual stimulation beyond discussions of pedagogical or behavior management methodology. How much longer will I be able to sustain interest in middle schoolers? I signed up initially for high school placement, but went where I was sent. Now I'm in a school I adore but there's no high school attached to it yet. I'm getting restless.