Let’s Be Clear: Leggings Are Not Pants

This is going to be interpreted as a rant and a fuss-fest, whether I want it to or not. The topics on the table are: student willfulness, education uselessness, societal rule-mongering triteness, and the phenomena of Ex Re-flux. They’ve all reached a critical mass kind of status, and that translates to a call to the public forum to see what everyone else might be thinking or if I’m alone in my malice. If you were wondering; still ill. Always.

1st order of business is just a common educator complaint. My students resist learning like cats fight against a bath. These students are paying for the privilege to actively resist the learning atmosphere. These students are laying down 1,000 of dollars to text through class, talk about weekend plans instead of complete their work, answer questions wrong purposefully in hopes of a quick answer to fill out their worksheet instead of putting effort into learning information, and then curse at their teacher for “refusing to help them.”

I suppose I could sympathize with these special students if the subject was one only necessary for college bureaucracy palm grease, but this is remedial reading I’m teaching here. Take a minute to digest the fact that your reading level is on a 9th grade (or below) level. Is that something you’re prepared to go through life as your claim and arsenal extent? It’s partly a problem of youth, I believe. Thinking you can achieve your aims with less than amazing skills is an arrogance we all get into. Then you turn 26, and realize your “skills” and even your education doesn’t entitle you to a job or any special treatment. And you realize…you’ve got to be the best, better than hundreds of others, and on a daily basis or you will not have a job (not even touching on meaningful or enjoyable work) because someone more hungry will replace you. Another result of an overpopulated planet. Global competitiveness. Smart is not smart enough.

And that’s the segway to education uselessness in current society. Maybe I’ve doubted it once or twice in some dating scenarios I have found myself in (and there was that one phase in junior high), but overall I’ve never had a doubt that I possess the ability to be intelligent. Indeed, I enjoy the sensation of being smart(ass), therefore seeking out apples both low hanging and further upon the tree of available knowledge.

I’ve been a student/scholar for my life’s entirety. I was fortunate enough to have my undergraduate degree in Journalism/Communications paid for by a history of adequacy and good behavior in high school. I was again fortunate to have had a “career” in my field for two short years before the changing face of media continued its progression to render print media obsolete, and I found myself laid off at 22, bills to pay and not a single opportunity forthcoming save the fall back of my high school part-time safety net of barista work. Even now, I thank myself for learning a technical skill that would pay the bills when my education wasn’t profitable (still waiting, by the way). So I returned to school, playing the straight and narrow again and clearing the hoops of necessity to earn my Master’s degree in education. Still young, I was optimistic. At 24, with a degree and a Master’s, and every semester on this shadowy mysterious entity called “The Dean’s List,” I though surely, finding a job, making a place for myself in society, and clicking that manacle of the American Dream around my ankle would finally be possible.

I was, and still am, the fool.

At 26 (almost 27), I am working in a temporary position as a tutor: all terms designed to deny that I have earned what it takes to be called a teacher, and to emphasize my replaceable status to those I give my time to. My current three jobs do not provide me any kind of healthcare or benefits, and paying rent has become an anxiety inducing event even with making the switch to buying groceries at the dollar store and a charming mart called United Grocery Outlet that specializes in unwanted products from name brand grocers, much of which is expired yet still edible. (What can I say? Anna’s got to eat.) Others certainly have it worse than me, of course. But I never thought I was going to have to live this way after spending so many years sweating and sacrificing to be educated.

So for all intents and purposes, it would seem that my education (although I greatly treasure the knowledge earned) is useless in helping me to be an indepdent, productive member of the so-called society. Does that mean I can finally turn in my resignation? I’ve changed my clothes, my hair, my habits, and beyond all for the sake of being the kind of person they want to hire to teach others and earn a living the process. Playing by the rules has got me no more standing, respect or gain than a upper middle class high school graduate. So can I finally resign and play by a differetn set of rules? Will I get any further on a socital anarchist blend? Within and without a society and a country. All I know is that it’s come to a point where something new must be tried. I’ve quit my stable technical work as a barista, perhaps mainly on an illusion of higher self-worth than realisitc, and freed up that time to strategically freefall into opportunities that arise to make use of my brain, and hopefully put up with less shit than I have done simply to have the illusion of security.

I say this not to whine so much as inform of life beyond Facebook “everything is awesome” facade. I’m not trying to say, poor pitiful me here. I’m just saying, for someone who’s supposedly done everything right, the way they asked me to, how worrisome it must be fore those making supposed “wrong decisions.” Then again, maybe they are better off. I guess, I’ll soon see.

I hope the new title of my overall blog is coming more into focus for you.

While I’m harping on society’s attempted usefulness, let’s address some of its trite acts to fumble at control. These days there are rules for our rules, which leads to contradictory and maddening “thought” processes. Cafeteria at school offers $0.99 refills when you buy one of their cups for $3.00. Savvy. But bring in your own cup and not only are you charged full price, but you are told you have to use their Styrofoam Earth-hatred cups because of “health reasons.”****Logic fail. And it’s rules like these that I have to pass on to my students as well. Further educating and perpetuating an acceptance of madness and adherence to policy and procedure rather than free, rational thought. Granted, some people need the guidance that rules bring: see Darwin Award Winners. But some of it is just power play, and reinforcement of authority or monetary ties.

The other more mundane news, whose only real worth in mentioning is life irony, is that there’s been another bout of Ex Re-Flux. The universe has determined I’m going to have to interact with every Ex in some form of fashion this month. Two have contacted me on their own volition via Facebook to subtly (not really) indicate interest. (By the way, an ambiguous Facebook relationship status is not license to move in on a gal.) Another Ex came seeking help in my classroom today. And who knows what others will resurface in the small town shuffle, rising like corpses you’d though were good and buried. Well…not that dramatic, but in the spirit of Halloween…there it is. It’s also of interest to recall how many people I actually have dated. I wonder if its the same way a serial killer feels about their body count…counting up Ex’s that is…um…yeah, we should probably move on to another line of thinking.

To complete this blog of self-righteous sword waving anger, I address the teaser title…Leggings are Not Pants (clearly). I feel like I must bring this up every time the weather cools. As fellow friend and blogger said, “Leggings are nice because there’s a chance that a girl with a nice ass can wear these and everyone wins.” But mostly, because some are bound to make us suffer, leggings are a sadist’s creative thought incarnate. Stretching a cat face or hypno-pattern across your backside is bold. And with no skirt or dress to cover your junk that is wearing all that unforgiving spandex, well, be prepared for stares. All shapes and sizes are beautiful, but spandex is a monster who takes away the mystery of “what lies beneath.” Think it out. Act accordingly. That’s all the educational insight I have on tap for now. ++++

-Anna RK

*****Saying this, I know that one of my subscribers has ties to this cafeteria and its management. I mean no disrespect by illuminating a policy I find less than intelligent. Please don’t unsubscribe. 😉

++++Like and/or subscribe to help me investigate the next topic for blogging: can nihilists ever really find job satisfaction?

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