Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Proud Teaching moments, brought to you by Miss California

The recent news stories surrounding Miss California and her comments on Gay and “Opposite” Marriage reminded me of a time when I was teaching high school and had to deal with a little Diva in my afternoon class. I dug up this entry from my Live Journal account and thought I should share. Not a proud teaching moment for sure, but one that I will never forget. For those of you who went to CCHS, you’ll know EXACTLY who I am talking about. For the rest of you, just be glad you don’t know her.

I had my fill of pageant girls when I taught at Columbia Central High School. One of my students, Maleah (not her real name), was one of those kids who did the pageant circuit. She was an obnoxious mess and made my life hell at times. It didn’t help that she had family in the school’s administration so she got away with murder most every day. Imagine a toxic mix of Phoebe from “Friends” and Glinda from “Wicked” rolled up with a bag of BRATZ dolls.

We were a Channel One school, so we had cable and televisions in our classrooms. I was watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show one afternoon during my lunch/prep hour and I forgot to turn the television off when the students came back in for 6th hour. Maleah walked in, went to the back of the classroom and yelled up, “What is that on TV?” I told her it was the dog show, and she yelled back, “That’s soooooooooooo GAY!”

I thought I had turned off my outside voice, but her attitude and comment got the better of me. I responded by yelling back, “What’s the difference? You do the same thing. You get all brushed up and parade around in front of judges just like the dogs!” You could head gasps from the other students, and I had to bite my tongue when one of the independent study students (in the studio space behind me) mumbled under her breath, “Well at least the dogs don’t sing”

She sprinted to the door in an attempt to get to her family member before I did, but I beat her to the office and told her to park it while I went in and explained to the family member the situation with his relative. He was laughing and told me that she was the one in trouble not me, even though she threatened to get me fired for my comments. I left the office and she just glared at me as I went back to my classroom. When she finally did come back, there were little barks and howls from the other students as she went back to her seat. Her pageant training paid off, as she didn’t break her stride nor dip her head. Rumor has it, she moved to some northern state to be eligible for their Miss Northern State pageant thereby making her eligible for the Miss America pageant.

God help us.