One of the deeply awesome things about teaching fifth graders is that they all watch the same things that my younger son watches. As long as you don’t count the graphic horror films that they apparently watch as a matter of course, and which my son states that, if elected, he would abolish. I’m with him. I am a wuss who finds real life horrifying enough without watching stuff intended to raise your stress level. Honey, my stress level is high enough without biting my knuckles while awaiting a fount of blood to erupt from a stupid girl’s sternum. My son also does not view the items that enable our students to compose extended essays regarding oral sex, whilst they remain incapable of writing a paragraph that includes details from a text that they have read. Go figure!
Aside from those notable exceptions, I am on top of much of their media-inspired drivel. “Regular Show?” I watch it. “Yaaay-uhh!” Shut it. I only wish that they were sharp enough to appreciate the nuances of “Adventure Time” and “Gravity Falls.” See, kid’s TV right now actually has some pretty awesome, funny, and creative stuff. So don’t try to quote crap from kiddie pop culture to me.
Here’s the dilemma: I can track certain trends to pop culture. But where do they develop the tendency to write the following: “I saw 3 boys and the three boys the three boys?” I grew up on “My Three Sons.” There were triplets and shit happening there. Is this some obscure 3-ism of which I am unaware? I heard from some wise, unidentified sage, that humor was often delineated in the arena of 3. Obviously, I have yet to master this elevated skill, although my student has some inkling. Clearly, I must continue to study the ways.
But what would Fred MacMurray’s response have been if little Ernie had brought home some garbage like that? I think that there would have been an emotional heart-to-heart in which Ernie would have been gently acquainted with the prospects of a life of flipping burgers, where he could repeat things in threes to his heart’s content. And then, Chip would have piped in about his childhood friend, Skip, who had not only found himself sauteing the patties of the beuf, but later found himself dismissed from said job due to his limited mathematical capabilities, after which he had wound up bunking in the Stevens’ garage. Shame, all around. The good old days.
Meanwhile, the child who wrote about three boys three times in three seconds—she will have to take a test in which she is asked to describe how a character changes throughout a story based on the challenges the character faces, and providing text evidence to support her answer.
Or, three boys.