I am growing tired of moonlighting as the body police. Not only must I prepare lessons, present them, maintain the interest of the students, assign guided practice, grade the guided practice, record scores, remain ever vigilant for cell phone sightings...but now I must have a hose ready to break up any physical contact between students.
It's springtime, you know. When a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Yeah, right! Tennyson never walked a day in my comfortable brown leather work shoes. Spring is when the students of both genders seek to sneak a secret grope. Say that five times fast.
Actually, this touching business is an ongoing problem. I don't mean that kids are making out willy-nilly in the hallways. They are allowed to hold hands. That's it. No huggy. No kissy. My teaching buddy, Mabel, used to operate quite a business in writing up the kissers. Not that it paid anything extra, except for personal satisfaction. At my end of the hall, I get more runners than lovers. I'm the runner-writer-upper. And even that market has cooled. Not so, the huggers.
Last year, my problem was massagers. An entire class thought they could massage the neck of the student in front of them. No. I put that belief to rest straightaway.
This is the year of the hugger. They must be like the seventeen-year cicadas. Hugging in the parking lot, hugging in the hallway, hugging in the cafeteria, hugging in the gymnasium, hugging in the classroom. And it's not romantic couples. It must be some kind of emo thing. Just yesterday, a dude walked by my desk, and his friend dude stood up and hugged him. "Well. That was a surprise." Not that he objected. He has his own girlfriend for romantic hugging. His buddy has a string of girls he strings along. I cautioned them that such behavior was inappropriate for my classroom.
"What do you mean? One dude can't hug another? What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing. Outside of my classroom. It's not appropriate here."
Can kids not grasp the basic tenets of society? Do they see me hanging around the hall, hugging the principal? Do I hug my fellow faculty lunch buddies every day when we reconvene? Do I hug the custodian in thanks daily after he sweeps my room and empties my wastebasket? NO! This is a freakin' workplace! Not an emo den of I'm OK/you're OK/let's keep each other from cutting/black-clothing-wearing/unicorns and rainbows enablers.
If only I could unleash my inner raccoon. Like the one who lit into Buddy the Elf, aka Will Ferrell in tights, when he stretched out his arms and declared, "Somebody needs a hug."
Keep your hands to yourself.