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The age gap gets gappier
Teachers keep getting older, sixth graders stay the same age
I use music in my teaching, but it’s my music, not theirs. It’s not kid-unfriendly, but certainly less “What do you like” and more “Let me teach you Prince.” I can’t hand over the DJ reins in some half-hearted appeal to relate to Fellow Kids. I’m old no matter how much Lizzo I play.
I felt young as a first-year teacher, even though I was 35. Maybe it was because I was treated like such a freshman that first year, kind of hazed in a last gasp of the Old Way. Plus, I looked moderately youthful, and the building I walked into had a lot of teachers in their 50s. But after a few years of personnel changes, my relative youth gave way to Crafty Veteran status. At 46, I’m unquestionably An Old Teacher.
Parents see the gray in my beard and assume decades of experience. I’ll take it. Kids see the gray and think I’m from another world. I am. Most teachers in their 20s are closer in age to the students than they are to me. We’re peers, but they have way more more in common with the kids. A 26 year-old teacher is always a set amount older than a sixth grader, but I keep get further away. Matthew McConaughey would phrase it differently.
So I accept who I am an I don’t pander with my musical choices. Plus, these kids need to learn Madonna and Stevie Wonder and Men Without Hats and New Order. Plus, they’re already going to complain about Old Man Tobin, I might as well get a good soundtrack out of it.
The week in dog poo
The wife was long a fan of Patriots special teams start Mosi Tatupu, and I invoke his name every time one of the dogs takes a Mosi TaTwoPoo. Ginger often can get up to Mosi TaThreePoo, but Winnie has gotten in on the multiplicity of late. Ginger doesn’t always materialize for the morning dog walk, but a couple of times recently I had five dumps in one bag. And very few around the house! A good week in dog poo.
The Urban Blah
Back in 2009-11 I collaborated with the brilliant Lovisa to make a webcomic that failed to become syndicated across the globe. I am pro-recycling.
My Back Pages:
Random excerpt of something from my archives that went nowhere but is worth looking at. From Surgical Strikes, Sept 26, 2005, I like this one too much not to publish the whole thing:
Dan Tobin sells an everything bagel
The CUSTOMER, a young woman drinking an iced nonfat mocha, is in the middle of placing her order with DAN TOBIN, supa dupa barista at the Karma Coffeehouse.
D: Anything else?
C: I’ll have a bagel, please.
D: Okay, honey wheat, cinnamon raisin, or everything?
C: What’s on the everything bagel?
C: Sesame seeds?
D: It has everything.
C: Even poppy seeds?
D: Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, little bits of dried onion… it has everything.
D: Of course. The everything bagel has everything.
D: If it didn’t have cheese, it would be lacking something and we couldn’t rightly call it an everything bagel, could we?
C: Then it has cheese?
D: It has everything.
D: Sure. Pickles, mustard, chocolate chips, Fruity Pebbles, chicken satay, halibut… everything.
C: So you’re saying the everything bagel comes with everything on it.
D: It does. Pepperoni, anchovies, eggplant, pineapple, scrambled eggs, duck a l’orange — all of these items and many more are subsets of the infinitely larger category of everything, which is the descriptor attached to the bagel you are presently considering. To summarize, the everything bagel has everything.
C: Even non-food items?
D: What do you think?
C: So you’re telling me that the everything bagel has motor oil, a whiffle ball, and Rhea Perlman?
D: Are they all something?
D: And everything would include something, wouldn’t it?
C: I guess so…
C: Then… it does?
D: IT HAS EVERYTHING.
C: I have to say, I’m not sure I believe you.
D: Then you definitely need this bagel. It has incontrovertible proof, eternal truth, and capers.
C: Because it has everything.
D: Now you’re getting it.
C: Yeah, yeah. I’ll take the honey wheat.
D: Just as well — you may be allergic to something. The everything bagel is not for everyone.
D: No. That’s the everyone bagel.
As the CUSTOMER shoots DAN TOBIN through the eye, the curtain falls, injuring several customers who had no idea they were in a play.