Saturday, March 28, 2009

When A Teacher Doesn't Teach, But Thinks About Beer

I shifted the classroom discussion into the impact of technology on our lives. I asked each kid, ages 12-13, to tell me how they use technology and what they would do without it, et cetera et cetera. Typical teacher bullshit to pass a Friday, and about 5 minutes prior, Dave popped in to let me know he just put the beers on ice. So, mentally, class was over. Getting through it physically was all that remained. They raised their hands and said things about their Nintendos, MP3s, cell phones and computers. When it was Pedro's turn, he seemed flummoxed.
He is the thinker of the class, and his responses are usually a bit more complex.
"Well, es downloading. I download all de time," said Pedro, startled. He then went quiet and I could tell his thoughts were trailing in darkness.
I didn't really know what to say to the boy, but just getting him to expel whatever was in his head seemed like a good move.
"Ok Pedro. Well, what do you like to download?" I felt ridiculous asking such a question. A human asking another human what they like to download...
"No!" he quickly shouted. His voice remained loud and his eyes were wild. "Es no about what I like or what I don't like to download. But my whole life, I think I can download it."
Some of the kids laughed, but when Pedro didn't smile they stopped laughing.
"You can download your life, Pedro?"
"Yes! My father, he es always filming everything. I am serious. Everything. Then he puts into a file. Always files. A file for everything. I am a file. My seester, she es a file. My mom, everybody, a file. And anytime I have question about when we live in Columbia, or Venezuela, or wherever, I must download. I have so maaany questions about everything so I must always download!"
Wow. I was blown away. This was deep. Poor Pedro, so young and already in the matrix. But again, this was Friday, the humidity was heavy and I knew we had beers on ice at home.
"Wow Pedro. That is really crazy. Technology has really impacted your life. Maybe just stop downloading for a little bit. Ok class, no homework this weekend. Get outta here. Have fun!"


  1. I think Pedro needs you. I think he's really onto something, and you know it.

  2. Yes, he is onto something and he will soon need a beer to help digest everything he is about to find out.

  3. Who needs a real beer when you can probably just download a virtual beer app on your iPhone. Mmm, virtual beer (drool...)

    Great post!

  4. "Maybe just stop downloading for a little bit."