Insofar as teaching goes, there are a lot of perks. I've already mentioned a lot of them on here, but one of my favorite things is that I get to keep up with kid trends that otherwise would completely pass me by. One of the complaints of those who love me but don't think like me is that when we're in the car, we'll sometimes listen to the radio and hear a new song, and she'll be jamming out to it, and I'll ask, "Oh, is this that new so and so song? I've read about it, but I haven't gotten a chance to hear it yet." This is usually followed by something like, "What? You haven't heard this? It's been overexposed to death!" I love following the trends, but I seldom get a chance to actually do so - I just read about them and know that they're going on, I don't get to actually experience them.
So I was psyched today when my favorite student made me a killer compilation of forty-plus tracks that she thought I needed. She's looked through my iPod a lot this year, so she knows the type of music that I typically like, and she's seen what I have, so she had a pretty good grasp on stuff I'd be down with. Not only do I get good jams to listen to, but I get to look a little cooler next year, as though I found this music on my own. ;)
Regardless, that's not what this entry is about. This entry is about another trend that I've gotten the lovely opportunity to keep track of and watch as it absolutely exploded: To Write Love On Her Arms. Several different kids talked to me about this shirt/organization before I did any research on my own regarding the whole thing, but it was cool to read up on it.
I see these shirts all over school all the time. I mean...all the time! In fact, I saw one of the "Stop the Bleeding" shirts today at an assembly and if I hadn't been researching for this blog entry prior to that, I might not have even recognized it. It was cool to see. Some of this, however, is a little bit of a double-edged sword. I realize that this is a pretty religious-in-nature organization and while there's nothing wrong with that (I'm no hater of religion, unlike some of my best friends) I do think it's a funny realization to look around at the school that I teach at and see that most of the kids there are upper- to middle-class whites who have a stable life. Of course they're going to be very into the idea of Christianity.
But if it leads to great things like this, isn't that a good thing? So what's the problem? I guess I'm just worried about a (seemingly-) great organization like this one that (perhaps unwittingly, perhaps un-purposefully, perhaps seemingly) caters to this gentrified crowd. Maybe that's the wrong word. But something that's this self-selecting seems like a dangerous thing, at least to me.