There are days in the life of a middle school teacher when you wonder how on earth you manage to maintain your compsure and not dissolve into fits of hysterical giggles. Especially when one of your kids says something so off the wall that you're not even sure you heard it correctly. In fact, you're hoping you didn't hear it correctly.
Today was one of those days for Mr. Social Studies.
You have to give him credit. He tries to drag our kids kicking and screaming into discussions of current events, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. In fact, it all depends on the class. Some class periods do well in this area, others don't. It all sort of depends on the make up of the kids.
Today he was having a current event discussion when one of the kids raises his hand and mentions that he thought he heard on the radio news this morning that a cure for AIDS had been discovered. Mr. Social Studies responds that he hadn't heard that, but if it is the case, that would be a very good thing. The class then gets into a discussion about AIDS, which the kids apparently have a lot of questions about. (Which shows that they don't pay any more attention in health class than they do in science.) Mr. Social Studies explains a bit about the origins of the disease, how it's an STD, how it has decimated populations in Africa, and so on.
Doughboy raises his hand. Now there's several schools of thought when Doughboy raises his hand. One is the belief that you're delighted he's apparently paying attention and wants to contribute. The other is that you're scared to death about what might come out of his mouth.
Mr. Social Studies decides to take a gamble and calls on Doughboy.
"What's an STD?" he asks.
Great. Mr. Social Studies does as clinical an explanation of STD's as he can, couching his terms in words that hopefully won't get a parent mad at him. The kid seem to get it. He moves on.
Five minutes late Doughboy's hand is up in the air again, waving frantically.
Mr. Social Studies throws caution to the wind and calls on Doughboy again.
"Does that mean you can get AIDS from jerking off?" he asks, deadly serious.
Mr. Social Studies, who is never at a loss for words, was at a loss for words. So, apparently, was the entire class. Thank goodness. The chaos this could have generated is unfathomable.
Only one half day of school left.