My Summer Quest/Japan Excursion kids got an amazing, and literally, kicking, visit from two instructors over at ATA Karate for Kids. I can't say thank you enough for their willingness to come in and give a lesson in both martial arts discipline as well as how to perform a few snazzy moves, some great self-defense techniques. It was intense, so I'm glad I was just holding the camera, though! The guest speaker line up ended on a very high note today, with Timothy Lim coming in to teach the kids how to draw and shade anime characters. When he told me he wasn't going to do a "lesson" so much as something like a "demonstration," I didn't really know what the difference was, but I was blown away after seeing his presentation. He used a drawing pad to sketch on his computer, and explained to the kids both how to draw, as well as the process of drawing - two completely different things. His art was amazing and the kids were turning up some wonderful sketches of their own by the end of class, I can't wait to see their finished products and show them off to the parents. I don't know if I can live up to these guys when I take over again tomorrow! Luckily I have some head shots of all the kids, which will pair nicely when glued on to the color-able Sumo wrestler pictures that I found! Maybe I'm becoming a convert to elementary school. They get to paint, have snack time, no homework to do/grade, and I don't have to do any research, (OK maybe a LITTLE), to do their lessons. Why did I go secondary??
I couldn't do elementary, though, as Michael pointed out, because I have no problem telling kids in the back row that I will not kill them... today; so they may as well move up front. Basically, my sense of humor wouldn't go over well if allowed to run free in a third grade classroom. He also said I wasn't "bubbly" enough; I don't know if I take offense to that or not.
I've been wanting to comment more on the Yan quote that I included before, especially after I've been reading so many stories and poems with my Upward Bound students that deal with the theme of alienation. This is why I am very much in favor of encouraging what are often labeled various forms of "sub" cultures, even if they are chided by their peers as being too "mainstream" to be considered "sub." Really, I'm so sick of the debate about what is real and what is "sell out" (is Hot Topic for "posers" and "sell outs"??? WHO CARES) that my stomach turns even when I hear the words "today's society" spoken aloud, which is a bit of an extreme reaction.
I know that identity is a struggle for people from about puberty to forever, so I don't understand attacking someone who attempts to identify with a certain group for a period of time, even if they don't initially (or ever) "fit in." If there is no attempt to overcome the alienation of not possessing an identity, then we are all... well, alienated. So I hate hate hate hearing people judged for the identity they "try on" for any amount of time. And the fact that what a person identifies with usually only lasts for a finite amount of time is also the thing that makes an identity, even a seemingly threatening one, (hello kids with Manson or Cradle of Filth shirts who scare their parents), not an issue for me.
The thing that brought this up in my mind was hearing the new Korn song, "evolution," on the radio. It all makes me laugh; (especially because the title is so fitting). When I was in seventh grade and rode the bus, there were these boys that wore ripped clothes and black nail polish who scared the everything out of me. I thought they were satan worshipers. They had Korn written on their knuckles and wore frayed army pants. I didn't want to be anywhere near them. Again, I have to take a moment to laugh. I suppose my way of rebelling against this fear was to become a Korn/Deftones/Tool/NIN/whatever I could find fan and date Chris, the then-drummer for "Corpslight" and now drummer for Tubring. Take that, 7th grade weenie! I'm convinced that this temporary association I aligned myself with, did not make me a satan worshiper in the slightest. It made me try on a new, less afraid identity... and less afraid is almost always a vast improvement from its predecessor. Also, I think I turned out OK in the end.
Basically, I want to rid the world of the word "poser," and also encourage people to stop validating their own identities by degrading others, whether it be a straight-laced type who comments on a kid in a black shirt, or a kid in a black shirt who comments on another kid in a black shirt, or an adult in a Cadillac commenting on the car next to them, which isn't. It goes all ways. Goodbye alienation, hello the re-worked "bebop" revolution of the 1950's. Sorry, Baldwin on the brain.