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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Searching for Identity.

SocialButterflyStudent: I'm Jewish.

Teacherlady: Oh that's cool.

SocialButterflyStudent: I had a bar mitzvah thing and everything.

Teacherlady: Bat.

SocialButterflyStudent: What?

Teacherlady: Bat. Bat Mitzvah. A bar mitzvah is for a boy. If I'm not mistaken. Not a lot of Jewish people where I grew up.

SocialButterflyStudent: Yeah. Whatever.

Teacherlady: So is there a synagogue where you live?

SocialButterflyStudent: A what?

Teachlady: Never mind.

The naughty side of me was tempted to ask how her bris went, but I behaved myself. It made me laugh when weeks later she claimed she was taking the following week off school for Passover when Passover had long since been over.

I'm guessing she's just struggling to identify with a part of her heritage she wants to respect in some ways, but the need is grossly overshadowed by her desire to spew nonsense. It was interesting to see how many kids in the class thought it was impossible for an African American to be Jewish until I pointed out Whoopi Goldberg was Jewish. Sort of. Anyway, I know they exist. They're not like leprechauns. I met one once during my student teaching and she didn't seem quite as clueless.

Huh. Hadn't thought about her in a while. That was back when I did this stint going to a bunch of schools giving a casual talk about Middle Eastern culture from my own perspective. She asked some great questions and taught me some cool stuff about Judaism. Cool kid. I always had a good time giving those talks because I always got great questions from kids the teachers claimed were barely more responsive than your average carrot, yet here they were asking question after question.

Anyway, I digress. I just wonder if that's what my daughter will sound like when she's in school...

*Cue weird harp music and wobbly visuals that imply a vision of what might be*

TeacherladyJr: I'm Arab. I think my mom used to eat camels or something. I think that sand pit is culturally insensitive.

We can only hope.


kinzi said...

Teacher Lady, that last line was better than coffee to wake me up. lolololol!

bint battuta said...

This post really made me laugh!

humble simpleton said...

Beta Israel
Operation Solomon

RandomGirl said...

Passover hasn't happened. It starts on Saturday...

TeacherLady said...

Oops, now that's what I get for asking my colleagues when Passover takes place... None of them was Jewish, so I should have looked further! They said it had happened a couple of weeks ago. Ah well. Thanks for letting me know! I guess she was only off by one week.