I’m sure you heard the big news: weed is more legal than owning a beagle.
I found out about this legalization of the green when I was driving back from Boulder and stopped superlate at a Taco Bell (the diet starts…tomorrow).
The worker, a guy aroundabouts my age, gave me my food and then asked if I wanted to come to his ‘rager’ to celebrate the passing of 64. I wasn’t quite listening and said “No, the mild!”
I’m guessing my Cantina Salad bowl got spit in that night.
The fervor of excitement spilled over into my Educ 350 class too. Specifically to the middle schoolers. More specifically to one middle schooler, Cam.
I’ve mentioned Cam before. He is the one whose favorite band is Kottonmouth Kings and is looks to be roughly around the age of 18. He doesn’t turn in anything ever and his reading skills are marginable. More than that, he really hates school and doesn’t want anyone around him to like it either.
Cam was thrilled today, and I could tell it by the fact that he had the 420 sign (the sneaky one, that looks like a hybrid of all three with some other symbols mixed in for the sake of confusion) written on his hand/binder/ipad case in metallic sharpie. If this didn’t spell out this kiddos stance on smoking j’s, the fact that he wrote 4:20 on his inner wrist probably did.
My first thought was THIS KID IS SO YOUNG! And then I realized that my first introduction to weed was in 7th grade (my friends smoked it and I opted out, for the record.) so I guess its right on track. But that was at a party during the summer, and we didn’t publicly advertise our mischievous misgivings to the world.
What surprises me is his reaction when I asked about it.
Me: Cam, can I see your hand?
Me: Have none of your teachers caught that yet?
Cam: Wait, do you know what it means?
Me: (shoots “I’m not an idiot’ stare) so none of your teachers have said anything?
Cam: Nah, I mean I think they all know what it means but they’re like chill with it, cuz its legal now.
Me: so that’s why you have it on your hand?
Cam: yeah, cause I can now.
And true to form, my mentor teacher saw it and said nothing, and Cam had been in three classes that previous day and none of his other teachers said anything. And so I perpetuated the cycle and said nothing.
…NOT. I told Cindy, who runs the visitor desk, about it. I really like Cindy.
I saw her once at King Soopers and went over to say hi (probably weird of me because our only interactions had ever been me walking in with hordes of CSU students twice a week and soundlessly getting visitor passes as they doled them out) and it turned into a half hour long conversation about her previous school experiences where she worked in inner city schools in new york, and how it saddens her that kids like the ones in loveland form gangs and get into trouble when their lives are pretty plush in comparison to the kids shes worked with in ghettos before. She also talked about how she deals with the kids in Loveland who act like general smartasses all the time, and that her approach uses a healthy dose of shame (holla holla, Matt!) and reality checks. and lots of that snappy snarkiness that only women with new york accents and skin as wrinkled as a puertorican beetlejuice can pull off . So she and I were catching up today and I told her about Camalamadingdongs 420 tribute, and she said she’d look into it.
Now, I’m the most passive person in the world. And if you said that you actually were the most passive person in the world, I’d probably agree to avoid an argument. And so this decision to tell someone has been eating away at me! But, come on, someone needs to talk to him. I don’t want him to get in trouble, I just really don’t want Cam to be on a fast track to nowhere, spending what little money he has on weed, getting involved in gangs and wasting his own time in school.
If fifteen years from now Cam WANTS to be the kid at Taco Bell, smoking weed and working minimum wage in the middle of the night, then so be it and godspeed to him. (and hear me out when i say i’m NOT bashing fast food workers, i just am talking a minimum wage job) But if he wants anything else for his future, I don’t want him to limit himself to that option alone or have that be the only option he has due to lack of teacher intervention. And I’m sure the teachers have all tried to intervene, but today is an example of something that was about to be either ignored or slip through the cracks.
I don’t know, I guess what made me sad was the feeling that someone has given up on a kid already. He’s in seventh grade, and if he doesn’t drop out he has quite a few long years ahead of them. Theres not gonna be a great ending to this post, because I don’t know what the answer is and what we are supposed to do about kids like Cam, who gave up on school a while ago and are slowly seeing people giving up on them.