Cavalcade of Smells

When you work in a youth jail, there is a pretty steep learning curve involved, especially when you’re used to teaching in a public school as opposed to a correctional facility. However, there are a few things you learn very quickly, such as:

a) don’t look when they knock on their windows…you might see something you can never erase from your mind
b) always know where you’re keys are…escapes and brass knuckles are both bad things
c) a closed institution housing teenagers truly is a cavalcade of smells

Truth be told, all teenagers are stinky fuckers. When I taught co-operative education in public school I got a message from an employer that went a little something like this,

“Hi, Mr. Whoever here from the Thingambob Corporation. We have your student Joey Joe Joe Jr. with us and, well, how do I put this? He’s a great kid, and he does amazing work, but well, it’s just that we have a really small office, and other people, well, they have been noticing, um, that, well, he stinks. Can you call me back asap? Kthxbye.”

True story. Ask me how fast I passed that one on to the guidance counsellor…

But, lesson learned. Starting the following semester, I dedicated a whole class to learning how to not smell like: body odour, fish, curry, deep fried foods, smoke, weed, etc. etc. It was well received and samples of deodorant were handed out and a handy “free to use” bottle of Febreeze was strategically placed in my office for public use.

After teaching in high schools and smelling the smelly smells that occur, and then of course teaching in jail where, let’s just say there’s a rule that states you MUST shower at LEAST every three days. There’s also in-unit kitchens which staff and youth use, as well as bathrooms that don’t have doors. Did I mention these two things are RIGHT beside each other?

Appetizing, I know.

Sometimes I wonder if elementary schools are quite so smelly? Do little kids get as stanky as their future teenage selves? The answer, I’m guessing, is probably yes. Although I have a feeling a large room of little kids probably smell more like crayons, peanut butter and pee. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m ever so glad I chose to work with older kids, but every now and then I think it would be fun to be in an elementary classroom. Snack time and nap time both sound just fantastic to me, and I’ve always been quite keen on colouring in the lines. I think it’s the 25 snotty noses, the 50 untied shoes and the plethora of snowsuits, boots, mittens, hats, scarves, lunchboxes, backpacks and other little kid stuff that keep me smiling that I work with the twelve and up age group.

However, if I were an elementary teacher, in keeping with my smelly topic, there are two very important books that I would absolutely love to read to the class on at least a weekly basis. I’d have little kids quoting this shit (figuratively…)left, right and centre:

to be followed up with this breezy tale:

A Tootin' Good Time

In other stinky news, President Obama tells Prime Minister Harper to pull his finger. Harper’s right-wing Christian morals cause him to hang his head in shame, ruining Obama’s good time.

Pull my finger biznatch!

~ by Andrea on April 16, 2010.

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