Thursday, October 15, 2015


Picture this:

I'm sitting around a table in the workroom of the high school yesterday morning, with four (count them) high school teachers. Because the morning is filled with testing for the kids, I'm simply filling in where needed. The other teachers are not subs--they are full-time employees who happen to not have a roomful of kids at the moment. Hence, they, too, are filling in where needed. Most of that filling in is spent distributing/collecting test material and picking up attendance forms.

In this moment, it is clear that the five of us (Lady #1, Lady #2, Man #1, Man #2, and me) are not imminently needed. Since the other people are full-time employees, they're sitting in front of a computer, connected to the internet. Based on my lowly sub status, I'm reading a book, after having worked on writing up a critique for a fellow Plot Sister.

All of a sudden, a call comes through the walkie-talkie. The woman in charge (Lady #1) picks up the walkie-talkie, says "copy" and listens to the man on the other end. To be honest, I can't remember what the man said, but he used a rather large word in the course of his comment. That word? Diaspora.

The moment the woman takes the call and hears that word, her eyebrows furrow. She finishes listening and clicks off the walkie talkie.
Lady #1: What's a diaspora?
Lady #2: I have no idea.
Man #1: No clue.
Man #2: Sorry, don't know.
And they all go back to what they were doing before the call of the walkie-talkie.

But what about me? I'm still sitting at the table, reading and smiling at this bunch of so-called educators. I can excuse the fact that they didn't know the meaning of the word--my vocabulary these days can also stand to be improved--but I can't excuse that not one of them even bothered to Google it. Each of these people had an opportunity to improve their vocabulary and not one of them took it.

I'd like to think that I'm not judging these four foks, but I am. I so am. These are the people who live in our society. These are the people who walk the halls of the schools. These are the people who TEACH OUR CHILDREN.

I'd also like to think that if a child had been present, at least one of them would have thought to look the word up. And yet, I'm not so sure.


T said...

Even Ava knows to ask me if I can Google something. She's asks me all the time. Holy disappointed.

Bethany House said...

Okay, I agree with you that it's sad that no one looked up a definition; especially a group of educators... but seriously, I am now going to spend the day wondering at how a word like diaspora fits into a walkie-talkie conversation!!

Christina said...

Yes! Our kids always ask for us to Google if they don't know how to do it themselves. I have no idea why someone wouldn't want to know the meaning of that word!

Bethany--with the testing happening, he was planning on moving a group of kids elsewhere, away from their homeroom. I probably should have included that in the blog, but I just wanted to get the words out quickly! (I would like to thank the guy for using a good vocabulary word.)

Bethany House said...

That is perfect! I wish I thought to use words like that in regular, everyday kind of situations. Of course, I also wish I got to use walkie-talkies on an everyday basis.

sandra doninger said...

Ok, maybe it's because my people have been flung across the globe, but diaspora isn't a very uncommon word. I feel there is a reason those four teachers were just hanging out. Wth!?

Bethany House said...

You're right Sandra, it's not that uncommon of a word in general. But I normal hear it used on a global kind of scale, migrations of people to different countries. I've never heard it applied to a small, everydayish kind of event, like the migration of students from their original homeroom.