The Lice Letter went home Friday, followed by a No Really, There are Lice in the 5th Grade email yesterday. Today brought a class full of high, tight braids and not-one-but-two buzz cuts among the boys. The voice of the parent community is rarely so loud. I don't blame them.
This is a routine reality in elementary school, and it could be the kind of thing that catapults me back to my own lousy (in every sense of the word) childhood. It doesn't though because I am one of those weird people who freak out over having my hair touched, especially while being spoken to softly. (I listen to all the ASMR on youtube.) The Lice Letter means having the school nurse leaf slowly through my hair, reassuring me all the while that if she does find a nit (and she never has) then it has nothing to do with my own personal hygiene or lack thereof. (I know about lice, I always want to say, I'm really white trash. I wound up in our upper middle class district by some accident of fate, but I've had lice lots and lots of times. I have.)
What do you call it when a student hears Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, thinks it's a good song (apparently), and so requests it when his name is drawn to choose the music for that day's Brain Break? Is it still rickrolling? Is there any chance he heard it outside of the context of a rickroll? Were we second hand rickrolled? (I promise you, it was not an intentional act of pranxterism. 5th graders are not that subtle. If it were on purpose, I would have heard, "Misha Kell, do you know what it's called when someone makes you play this song? lololol!!!" within 20 seconds of starting it.)
Anyway, regardless of how it happened, it did. My students were genuinely baffled by how "ugly" the people in the video were. This was not your typical writhing on the ground in the face of your parents' era's bad fashion kind of thing. This was a true question. "Why are they all so ugly?" Are the people we see on TV that airbrushed these days? The NGGYU video dancers all looked pretty above average to me.
The kids' horror at the unstraightened teeth, baggy pants, and dull, thin hair did not prevent them from dancing around like total dorks. That said, very little does.