Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS day

We have a mandatory curriculum at school for teaching students:
a) what is AIDS
b) how to prevent getting it

It is an amazing experience when a young black woman says, "Why do I need to know this?" and the answer is simply and truthfully "Because it will save your life."

7 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

Caveat: not that being black, young, or a woman has much to do with your immune system, but that happens to be the population in my state in which AIDS is most rapidly increasing.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

it's amazing that here we are, a quater-century into this terrible disease, and people are still asking this question.

yeharr

9:29 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

i get that shit too. but mine is about the slave trade, and it irritates me to no end when african american students want to know why we are talking about it and others sleep in class.

i told my students i'd give them extra credit if they went to an AIDS awareness lecture at school and about 3 went.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

T be fair, these are young kids. They also ask why it's important to know about fractions.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Colleeen--I think our challenge is to teach in ways that make the material obviously relevant to our students' lives. Regardless of whether a kid ever had an African ancestor, I think most people identify with wanting freedom. Regardless of whether or not students want good grades or extra credit, most people know the pain of watching a friend or family member die. At my level, where kids are only 13 and 14, the connection has to be explicit.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

AIDS is only for fags, drug addicts and Africans.

*cough*

Thanks for teaching this stuff because in some states I bet they ban teaching the truth to kids.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

yeah, you'd think that when they get to college, they'd care. my kids are 18-21. most don't care, a few care, but most don't. and, to them, history is boring. you'd think that they'd identify with wanting their freedom, or appreciate the freedom they have (black, brown, green or purple), but they still sleep in class and want to know why I'm telling them in such detail. AIDS is something they don't worry about because, as a few told me "we wear condoms". sometimes i wish i had them at the age you do.

3:17 PM  

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