Lick The Hand
Change either comes by choice or force. School starts in a few months and I am choosing to drop my education major. Surrounded by a family of teachers, I always wanted to follow their steps, but after three years I have thrown in the towel. Why? Is it because education is old hat, that there are too many teachers in most areas, or that the boring classes? No, only one reason prompted me to quit education: the children.
I love kids, and I enjoy spending time around them, but they are filthy. Children maintain a level of grossness rarely seen in the world, like a toilet at a forgotten bar or a domesticated monkey without a diaper. Every orifice is either oozing or ejaculating some vile concoction. They smell, their fingers are marinated in grime, and their hair is matted with grease. I am in no way a "germaphobe," but children cause me to gag.
I made this discovery when my major required me to spend time in the back of a classroom at a quiet suburban school district. I was supposed to observe the teacher, but I ended up watching fifth graders pick their noses, keep money in their socks, and cough on each other. Instead of using the seating chart to learn names, I would make small marks as to denote which children to avoid: Cyrus-nose picker, Matt-always sick, Laura-unexplainable cinnamon smell.
After class, I'd go home and feel like a hypocrite. My apartment is a mess, so who am I to judge the children? My filthy lifestyle complicates the simplest tasks. To sit at my desk, I need to move a pile of laundry. Getting to the computer means moving cups and plates, and I have to relocate the stacks of paper that block my television to watch a game. Sitting in my nest of garbage, I was surrounded by my mess and guilt. The children didn't meet my standards, but I wasn't close, I was much worse. If I met myself walking down the street in some sort of out-of-body experience, I would cross the road to avoid the derelict. I was every nasty child in the class all grown up.
Although disgusting, the children were extremely enjoyable. They are incredibly carefree and lively; one cannot help but be cheered up. Doctors should put clinically depressed people in classrooms to make the patient smile or to calm the children down. Before the morning bell rang, I stood outside trying to make conversation with the students. The only subjects kids talk about are sports and cartoons; my two favorite interests. It was nice to start everyday discussing the Yankees and Smurfs.
The children liked me. I wanted to impress the children, and let them know that I was cool. During class I walked around giving high-fives, and I wouldn't shave over the weekend to ensure a five o'clock shadow for Monday. Like the gym teacher who hopelessly clutches onto his glory days by fraternizing with high school football players half his age, I was holding onto the sweet memories of being eleven.
As the weeks dragged on, the routine became dull. Drive twenty minutes across town, note childrens' filth for three hours, return to personal mess. One night, while writing an essay, I noticed an awful itch, like getting tickled mixed with a mosquito bite, between my cheeks. Those cheeks. I sat up and scratched through my pants, with little avail. So I took them off and scratched my undergarments, no help. I went to the bathroom and stripped. The itch was raging in a place I try not to touch with my bare hands. So, like a genius, I wrapped three feet of toilet paper around my hand and scratched. I was immediately punished for purchasing the one-ply sand/toilet paper. With my backend raw and still itching, I lunged into the shower. It took forty-five minutes of constant lathering until I felt comfortable enough to dry off.