Last semester my students hounded me every day for free time so they could play games. In boys adrift I was reading about the lack of enthusiasm boys had for life when the third day of the new semester rolled around. My sixth hour class finished early, so I gave them free time. In my school where the only pressure we apply are on pressure points because we do not live under the iron thumb of standardized tests, we can do this.
My TA asked each one individually if he wanted cards. “Naw,” each one replied. Each one sat and gazed at my clean white board. My TA shrugged at their indifference. My jaw dropped in amazement. I’m used to students slopping stuff down on a page so they can jam their desks together for a game of Spades. When did staring into space become so hot?
I’m two weeks into the semester, and I’ve seen this play out over and over again. It makes me want to the call the authors of the books I’m reading about the boys who have simply checked out. The epitome of “the boy problem” visits my room every day.