black kids are kinesthetic learners.


this is my third round of grading tests. the prompt this time asks would-be teachers: if you had the power to add a course to a school's curriculum, what would that course be?

i still think it's absurd that i'm being paid $15 an hour to read one page essays and bubble in scantrons, but i won't complain. i'll remember this temp job for the smell of coffee at our long grading tables, the recalibration sessions, and the old men hesitating at the urinals. sip, sip, sip. pause. pause. whizz. pause. dribble, dribble.

there are only two other scorers who look like they're under fifty, but we tend to stay away from each other. one is a tall black man who always wears a cool looking hat and goes outside to smoke. the other is a girl with long black hair. i overheard her say that she has a masters in school counseling, but she can't find work anywhere.

lunch is provided, and i usually eat it by a tree closest to the door. yesterday, i had this thought that all of my life was a continual preparation for solitary confinement. would i crack? have i already cracked? how would i handle a torture situation? if someone held a microphone to my internal dialogue, i could have my own traveling show. well, maybe that's what this is all about.

i don't like waking up early to drive all the way to natomas. granted, i've only had to do it once a week every three months, but still. i have great respect and deep pity for all daily commuters. like mr. arnold said on the wonder years: "i fight traffic; i bust my hump all day; i fight traffic again; i come home." i don't like sitting all day, either. i like reading. when i'm reading, years can pass. but when the essays are bad, my mind starts to drift.

a writer said that he would create a kinesthetic learning class. he immediately lost my attention, and i thought about the first time i heard about kinesthetic learning. a fellow writing center consultant, corey, who conducted research on kinesthetic learning, told us that african-americans were, in general, kinesthetic learners. i imagined her, this scrawny white girl, holding hands with a group of african boys, telling them to twist around and shake their asses if they ever wanted to learn something. i thought about the part in stuffwhitepeoplelike where the author says that white people tend to know what's best for the poor.

i thought about mr. ingoglia, my social justice teacher, during my junior year, and how ridiculous it was for him to try and teach a group of lazy, apathetic, homophobic, and sexually depraved boys lessons about social justice.

i thought about how sitting for eight hours hurts my ass, and how barbara ehrenreich said in bait and switch that humans weren't meant to sit for long periods of time. our bodies are meant for moving around or reclining.

i'm going in again tomorrow. maybe something different will happen. if not, there's always the end of the day to look forward to.

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