Sunday, January 3, 2016

Look at Community College

Who are these people I hear about on CNN? These people who allegedly hate immigrants enough to believe they are evil? Who put them in giant trash bag of "Mexican" and want to staple them to the curb? Look at community college and you will find out. You will read, in these squirrel-eyed students first "choose your own" persuasive paper, the meanest, nastiest, most bigoted beliefs about how the country has gone to squat. And you will not be able to argue with the student, but you will get to write "can you give me examples of when immigrants have taken a job from you?" in the margin. You will be able to say, "Very powerful language, but the word 'always' is illogical."

And then in class this student will be part of the group that chooses to explain a good introductory paragraph via interpretive dance. He will be very sweet to his group mates. They will make him laugh, and he will treat them like daughters--or at least cousins when they do partnered grammar work. Those two girls he worked with on misplaced modifiers and he all have something in common-- they talk about God openly. (Something I forgot people did when I worked at a state school. Look at community college.) They all wear crossed on their necks, and this student high fives them. They are latino and definitely in this course because English is their second language.

And then this student's mother will die. And he will be crushed. And he will try to take the final exam early and crumple up his papers and say, "I can't turn this in." He is forty years old and he says, "I really want to cry right now." So you hug this person who recently explained in a footnote of his essay on taxes that we shouldn't be using time and energy to give homosexuals rights (they are sinners). Who are the people out there who still hate gays? Oh, you're looking at community college, and you are hugging one.

Those "idiots" who don't know how an election works. They are ruining the country. But they also have two bullet wounds from taking a walk at the wrong time in their neighborhood. Look at community college. This grocery store manager wrote a scary story about his grandfather visiting him from hell on Halloween. This girl complains she doesn't have a single friend from high school who went to college. Watching K-Pop videos gets her through the long commute. Look at community college. You will see all the worst--the prejudiced, the annoying, the can't works, the won't works, but you will see every single one of those humans try to analyze a Carly Rae Jepson song as poetry, have a distinct option on which Chicago ballpark has better parking, get nervous when it's time to debate school uniforms on the big scary podium. Look at community college.

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