Wednesday, October 21, 2015


After over thirty years teaching teenagers, I'm not a spring chicken anymore. That's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, I've seen lots of people dance like chickens, and it's not a fun thing to watch. I'm certainly happy to be off the hook for that.

But yesterday we were doing colors. I made the egregious error of asking what color my hair was. Someone said gray. Then someone said white. It became a pretty enthusiastic discussion and the whites had it, apparently. Now I was disappointed. I thought it was grey, but I didn't really see myself evolving into Bernie Sanders territory just yet. Not that there's anything wrong with Bernie. Mostly, I'm a fan. Still, I don't see myself like that.

So here's the thing--is it just in the minds of the kids, or are they right? I'm thinking it's just in their minds, but it could just as likely be in mine. After all, as anxious as they are to label it white, I want to label it grey. Is color in the eye of the beholder? It looks like it.

Now there's an easy remedy for this problem. I could buy a can of shoe polish and rub it all over my head. Or I could shave my head for that rugged Michael Mulgrew look. But then I'd have to run around punching everyone's face out, because just about everyone I know opposes Common Core. Truth be told, there are a lot of people bigger than I am, and if I were to start punching their faces out, they could very well end up punching my face out.

I used to know a very pretty young singer. She used to sing at folk clubs and bars and such. Then she went skiing and broke her face. The next time I saw her, she wasn't ugly or anything, but she had a different face. It was very disconcerting. I was once invited to go skiing, but turned it down. The truth is, however people may feel about my face, I've grown pretty used to it. So if someone were to punch it out I'd be pretty upset. I guess the head-shaving thing is off the table.

Now my wife has worked in beauty salons, and she urges me against the shoe polish thing. She says she can dye my hair. But she also says that every few weeks I'd have to do it again. That's the part I really don't like. I could see doing it once, but I've seen people dying their hair and it seems really messy and inconvenient. Basically, if I have to do it more than once, forget it. I've seen my dog run away from a bath, and I'm fairly confident I'd run away from the whole dye thing too.

So what are my options? I could offer the kids extra credit for calling my hair grey, but that seems borderline unethical. I could teach them color incorrectly, but that seems grossly unethical. Or I could simply face the truth and admit the kids could be right.

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