The Breakfast Club

25 Aug

Due to my being broke lately, I’ve been forced to take buses to get to work and back home again.  I had stopped taking them not because I am a snob, but because I am still paranoid from the mugging I experienced a few months ago. If you could see the poor-lit, deserted streets I have to walk on my way home from the bus stop, you’d see why I take cabs.

Anyways, buses make me think about things I would otherwise not think about. Or at least I try not to think about. Sometimes I just listen to music and watch people. I imagine what their lives are like or what they’re thinking about. Other times, when the battery in my MP3 player dies, I spy on people a little. I listen to their conversations and from their words I try to determine what their personality is like. There’s a repetitive element in people’s words: criticism towards everything and everyone.

The other day I was in a class subbing for a co-worker, which  is kind of a dull task at first. But once students get used to you, it gets easier. Sometimes I really hit it off with the group and I end up having a blast with them and terribly missing teaching on daily basis. Last week, it was a complete different experience. I was so eager to have the regular teacher back in the classroom. I couldn’t wait to get out and I think the reason was that the class atmosphere was very uncomfortable. There were very distinct cliques among the students. Come to think of it, there was one big clique against one student. At first, I noticed the annoying student who kept asking questions and I have to say I thought he deserved to be ostracized by his classmates because of his attitude. But then I started thinking, why should he be rejected just because he acts in a different way? I’m no better than anyone else if I agree with this behavior. So what if he asks a million questions? He probably just wants to learn. If it makes him look like a nerd, that’s his freaking problem and no one should have anything to say about it. Is it a crime to act a little different from what you’re expected to? Does being different guarantee the instant rejection of everyone else?

I remember when I was 8 or 9 and I begged my mom to get us cable TV in the house. Back then, almost no one had cable in my neighborhood, since it was really expensive. I was able to convince my mom to do it by telling her that I would learn English if she did. That one did turn out to be right and who knew I would make living out of it?  I used to spend most of my free time then watching movies. There was one I remember watching many many times. It was called The Breakfast Club. It was about a group of teenagers who were punished by their principal by spending a day together at theirt school. My command of English was rather scarce in those days, so I had no way of knowing what the actors were saying, I could only guess. However, I didn’t need to understand English to comprehend that all those students were all different from one another. There was the nerd, the queen, the jock, the rebel and the weirdo. All of them represented a very distinct stereotype. Sometimes humans act as if they were like those machines at supermarket used to label products. Always putting an adjective and a price to everything and everyone else. I wonder now and I will always wonder why we have that need to label everything. This world is so full of labelers and it is really sad to realize that this is inherent to our human nature and it is something that will never change.

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2 Responses to “The Breakfast Club”

  1. Gabriel August 25, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…Brian Johnson
    …and an athlete
    …and a basket case
    …a princess
    …and a criminal

    Does that answer your question?… Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

  2. Gabriel August 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Oh…and people assign labels to allow us to hold so much information in our brains. It’s like using metadata to tag your music and photos. it helps in the data retrieval process. Imagine if all your MP3’s were in a single folder. how long would it take to find the song you’re looking for? So we create sub-folders, groups, labels to make recall easier.
    It can be harmful, but without it…we wouldn’t know much of anything.

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