Friday, December 17, 2010

Hazadous Pursuits

I have a girl in my class who's a quick study. At least she's quick. She doesn't get everything right all the time, but she finishes assignments rapidly. She's a pretty good student--I think I gave her a 90 this semester, but she can't wait to finish. Consequently, she looks bored a lot of the time.

The other day, she took out a pair of knitting needles and started making a sweater. I was shocked. I think I've been doing this for 26 years, and I've never seen a high school kid do such a thing. I suppose I labor under the stereotype that knitting is something grandmothers do, and for all I know, her grandmother taught her. But it was one of those times where I just didn't know what to do. It was different, say, than if a kid puts on earphones or takes out a cell. Of course it still meant she wasn't precisely focused on the class.

Then there's the unfortunate fact that the knitting needles are potentially dangerous weapons. I mean, I've never seen this girl run around killing everyone, nor did I much expect her neighbors would be inclined to do so. I quietly took the girl outside the room (not a whole lot of fun as it was freezing out there). I told her she might be better off leaving the knitting needles at home because someone might misconstrue her intentions.

I'm just a little regretful about it. There are a lot worse things kids could do between assignments. Of course, in my continuing efforts to thwart teenagers from having any fun whatsoever, I don't allow those things either. This can't last though, as it's almost inevitable the next iPod touch will allow kids to text one another via pure telepathy.
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