Junior Health Class
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where every day's a gnu day! Yak, yak, yak. How are ewe?
Okay, that's enough now, Puck. You can go back to poking the parrot with a stick.
As the veil thins I continue to find myself in this odd state of insouciance where nothing seems to matter anymore. Things that would have bothered me or worried me in times hence are just making me laugh and shrug. I think perhaps that I am edging toward the veil myself, and I realize that the time to be happy is now. Not tomorrow, now.
An addendum to yesterday's post: I do not mind when my students come in to chat me up after school. I'm honored. The whole reason I'm there is to try to make a difference in peoples' lives. I try to do that by genuinely caring about my students. Ask me if they can tell who cares about them and who doesn't. They have extraordinary sniff-out skills.
But that's beside the point! Today's sermon is entitled JUNIOR HEALTH CLASS AND THE DAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!
Last night I came slogging upstairs to go to bed, and I found my daughter The Spare at an online website that sells home pregnancy tests. She was studying the site carefully.
The conversation went something like this:
Anne: Doing a little shopping online?
Spare: He expects me to go into the pharmacy and look at these. And even ask the pharmacist about them.
Anne: Who is HE?????? *anguish*
Spare: The health teacher. The assignment says to go into a pharmacy and compare the cost of home pregnancy test kits. And to read the box and figure out how they work. And then to find out which one is most accurate.
Anne: This is for health class. For real. Like, looking and not buying .... oh pleeeeeeeze!
Spare: Mom. Are you serious? Of course it's for health class! And I'm not going into any pharmacy to look at this stuff. Can you imagine me standing in the Snobville Family Drugstore, looking at these? What if Wanda saw me? What if Celeste saw me? What if the cross-country team saw me? Like, could anything be more embarrassing than that?
Anne: Well, yeah. Does every junior at Snobville High have this assignment?
Spare: Yep. It's online.
Anne: So the boys have to go do this too.
Spare: As if. Get real. No one is going to study home pregnancy tests at a drugstore!
Anne: One would think that the teacher might ask the boys to study the condoms instead of the home pregnancy tests.
Spare: EWWWWWW! Go away! This online health class is making me gag as it is! Don't make it worse!
Readers, it's true. It's true! Spare had to write a report on home pregnancy tests for her junior health class. I went to the school e-board, and the assignment was there. Spare doesn't even have a boyfriend right now, and she has dumped two who tried to get fresh.
But my curiosity was piqued.
The Snobville High School online health class (there are no in-school classes, the course is all done online) has videos about puberty, sexual reproduction, gestation and childbirth, parenting, and relationships.
There is nothing about how to obtain sensible family planning. The word "condom" does not appear anywhere.
There's an assignment for home pregnancy kits, but none about birth control pills or devices.
I have never seen anything more ridiculous in my life. This is New Jersey! This is not Kansas! These are college-bound, high-performance teenagers, brimming with libido! Damn it, I want my kid to know where to get The Pill!
Honestly, this is no joking matter. Spare may not be sexually active, but a number of her friends are -- and who am I kidding, she could be in a matter of weeks, if the right scruffy, guitar-playing skinnyboy came along. Any junior high health class on sexuality, pregnancy, and parenting that does not mention birth control is worse than useless. It's counter-productive. Literally, my kid has been asked to price pregnancy tests rather than to investigate HOW NOT TO BECOME PREGNANT.
Good thing Heir and Spare have me in their corner. I may not be a doctor, but I know how to teach high school health. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I guess in next week's health class they'll be pricing multi-symptom cough syrups after not having learned to wash their hands before eating. It makes that much sense.