So my class of Year 9s are a nice bunch. They can afford to be; I don't actually teach them anything.
They come to me twice a week for Curriculum Support, which means they bring their homework or any projects or assignments they are having trouble with. The atmosphere is relatively relaxed and light hearted and on Friday I decided to kill a few minutes at the end of the lesson with a 'quiz'.
Now let me further set the scene for this by bringing to your attention the very now, hip and happening expression used by teenagers everywhere (well at least here...):
'LIKE A BAWWSSS' ('Like a boss' for those who do not speak teen).
The origins of this expression lie in a fairly 'out there' music clip by an outfit called 'Lonely Island'. (May I just say that I am introduced to these things by my 13 year old stepson and his bogan mates although they would deny that they deliberately 'introduce' me to them. They just use these expressions, then snicker and look guilty and I google it later.)
A quick google will bring you to 'Like a Boss': watch here if you dare. The clip contains strong adult themes such as drug use, depression, suicide, self harming, auto erotica, defecation and a bit of micromanaging. There is also an 'f' word. On second thoughts, don't watch it, but then you won't understand the rest of my post! Oh the dilemma!!!!
Things like this always challenge me and take me back to the things I used to laugh at when I was a Uni student. Himself was hilarious when I played the film clip for him. He got most uptight and proclaimed the whole thing 'juvenile'...well...YEAH!!!!! Hellloooooooooo!!!!!!
The other Lonely Island number which totally cracked me up was this one. "I Just Had Sex", has so much to say about men and women. Just before I assumed the 'cats bums mouth' position (which I was expecting to assume from the first lyric) I began to laugh and then it was all over.
Funnily enough, Himself had the best 'cat's bum mouth' evah when I played it to him!!!! hahahahahahahahah. Given his colorful language and slightly permissive view on life, the word 'irony' springs to mind. Himself and I are the grown up rebel generation. We embraced 'Rocky Horror', everything Python and Detachable Penis. How is it that we are offended NOW??
Anyway, back to the classroom. I am not sure how it came up, but in some context I looked at one of pupils and said 'Like a Bawssss'. His response was both hilarious and demoralizing. "OMG he exclaimed, "You can not say that, in fact, no one under 30 can say that!"
There was much laughter and me justifying myself but the moment passed.
And now we are back at the beginning of the story.
At the end of the lesson I declared a quiz: "answer a question and you'll be able to leave"
Knowing the clientele and having had the previous discussion about 'Like Boss' I called the first question:
"Which band sings 'Like a Boss'...?
The silence was deafening! Not a hand shot up. They all looked at me blankly!!!!
"Come ON." I said, "Someone MUST know!"
From the depths of the silent room one of my babies responded.." I didn't know it was a song..!'
"HA!" I exclaimed. "Ha! Do not EVER tell me I cannot quote the words when you do not even know the SONG it comes from!!!!!!"
Breaking quickly away from the subject (I had this sudden vision of the whole class going home and googling the song...have you watched the clip??? well then you know what concerned me...)
I suggested "Complete the lyric!"
"She loves you......"
Again the silence was deafening.
"Come ON guys!!!!!! It's the Beatles!!!!"
"Alright...try this..."will you still need me, will you still feed me.."
"Oh COME ON GUYS!!!!! Didn't you sing this in primary school??????"
"Give us something we KNOW" they huffed indignantly.
Now, I listen, with the BA, to the indie music channel in SA, I watch that hideous MTV every time I am in the gym, I know the titles of songs like 'Firework' and 'Rolling in the Deep' but do you think, in that moment, I could think one ONE single lyric?????????????
I dragged about desperately in my memory and came up with:
"I'm on the right track baby........"
"I was born this way!" shrieked an excited voice from the back of the room. 15 pairs of eyes swung around to survey him.
"Probably not the best song to admit I know..." he muttered as he made his way to the door, the lucky first leaver.
After that I resorted to asking about the capital of Australia, a scary moment as most of them thought it was ACT!
But I was left feeling shocked by my inability to recite lyrics, something I have always done well. I blame the BA and her dedication to indie music but there is a deep and cutting realization that I am now my mother. I clearly remember how she would exclaim in indignation about my ability to sing the lyrics to so many songs........
Those were the days.