Friday, September 28, 2007
Real Life Conversations at School
The backstory: I teach at an independent school and there is a dress code. No blue jeans, no sweatpants, no t-shirts with slogans, no baseball caps, and that sort of thing. As befits a school working hard to maintain a strong community, the faculty also adhere to the dress code. Because the result fills my classroom with nicely clad teenagers, I am a big fan of the dress code.
Naturally, the dress code occasionally generates complaints and among the most frequent is the girls' lament that they cannot wear flip flops to school. Invariably, as spring approaches and the temperature climbs above 50 degrees, you'll see a bunch of girls with cold, blue toes wearing a pair of banned flip flops......a very cold way to celebrate the coming of spring and challenge authority. Demerits are passed around and the Assistant Principal issues a stern warning that flip flops aren't allowed. Life quickly returns to normal.
And every once in a while, usually as a fundraiser for a good cause, we get a dress down day. We have one today; the first of the school year. There are usually some guidelines for dressing down and in my homeroom yesterday we were discussing those instructions when the following conversation ensued:
Me: Can we wear flip flops?
Student L: No. But we can wear sweatpants.
Student K: If we can't wear flip flops, what will we wear with our sweatpants?
Me (bursting into laughter): Doesn't the wearing of sweatpants mean that it's cool outside, thus no need for flip flops?
Apparently not, suggesting that I am hopelessly out-of-touch with the fashion world that is teenaged America. But I wasn't afraid to defy the flip flop ban.