The guys I work with love rap music. They love to make up their own raps. Unfortunately, in both cases, the lyrics are littered with profanity and sexual vulgarities and I have to consistently re-direct their conversation. Saturday night, one of the guys was sharing a rap he wrote with a bunch of other students and I gave him crap about the profanity (and the fact that it wasn’t even that good). So he challenged me to write a rap.
“Then you write one, too,” I said. “But keep it appropriate. We’ll share them with each other.”
So sure he was going to beat me, he immediately gets to work on his rap. Within 5 minutes, he gives up, telling me he “can’t” write a rap that doesn’t involve cursing or sex. Ten minutes later, I perform my first rap for a group of teen boys.
I took a job in the woods with a bunch of teen boys — Teaching reading and math is one of my joys — Say what you will, gentlemen, I didn’t come here for the money — I was making a lot more at an office job, honey — I’m here because I love it and you won’t get rid of me — So act a fool all you want, boys, I’m still the queen bee.
For maximum effect, please remember that I look like this:
and consider that I have as much edge as a koosh ball.
To say that I gained mad rep with the boys is an understatement. I also got a lot of cred with the directors of the program who heard about the incident and found it slightly ridiculous, slightly hilarious, but apparently effective that a 26 year-old white girl was writing raps and performing them.
In other work news, I’m sporting a black eye from an Ultimate Frisbee game, taught the boys how to play competitive four square, and ran off into the night in the pouring rain after a kid who was making a run for it. I also had some good conversations with the guys, found out that they’re splitting me from the one other female counselor, snuck off property for a Frosty, and found out that the program director used to be a cutter, too. (The program director has agreed to sort of mentor me — not just because of that, but because of a huge change in the work environment that is going to involve me taking some risks and really “stretching” as a person.)
It’s been an interesting five days. The weeks feel like months and my days off seem like hours. I’m exhausted and frustrated and happy and fulfilled. I love my job.