Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A NINJA ABRIDGED CLASSIC: To Teachers and Matrics

"This is an old piece I wrote for my previous blog. It's one my favourites and although nobody bothered to read it, it's a bon-a-fide classic. So without further ado, the first in a long line of NINJA ABRIDGED CLASSICS (possibly the only one). Timeless. Tasteful. My mom would kill me. Here we go." -NinjaK

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 2010 Matrics for getting through what has been a turbulent year for South African education. What with the interruption of the World Cup and the teacher's strike that resulted from it, it must have been really hard - especially for the people at government schools.

Why do teachers go on strike anyway?

A teacher with under 5 years experience (in advertising we call it Junior level) in South Africa earns R115 276 per annum. That's R9606 a month people. Almost 10 grand from the Government! That's more than I earn in the private sector doing all kinds of overtime and working 8:30-17:00 on most days.

The ad agency I work for.
When you consider that a teacher works from 8:00 until 14:30 in most schools, blazing cigarettes and drinking coffee between classes (I've been to a staffroom. I know what evil goes down) and then going home, it does seem kind of fair trade to me. Yes, you perform an invaluable and selfless service to society. Yes, you have to deal with brats, sports-coaching and marking shitty assignments and tests at home but that's no more work than most people do anyway so why do you deserve an extra 15% than me!?
Fuck you Miss Wormwood.
We all choose our careers based on several factors and the pursuit of wealth is one of the most popular. Nobody who wants to get rich studies in the arts or the social sciences because it's very, very unlikely that it's going to happen for you. Teaching is the same - you knew what you were getting yourself into when you chose to study teaching. Were you not taught by a teacher? Did said teacher never complain about this shit salary he was getting? Why do you deserve an extra 15%? I'd like to know...

I'll hold my hands up. I get paid shit.
 Speaking of percentages, I liked the way the students handled it (asking for 30% extra marks for Matric finals to compensate for lack of teacher input). I must admit, that was a good try and very creative.

Only problem is that it was neeeeeeeeeeeever going to happen. Ever :)

You know how they say "Never say Never?" I'm saying Never.
Think about it: if you get 80%, the university you apply for would know that you only got 50% in real life and your clever plan would backfire. Also consider that the teacher strike problem affected poorer communities far more profoundly than anywhere else. How many bursars would give free money to a 50% student? Not many methinks and so even if the 30% extra guys got into university they wouldn't be able to afford the fees. Trust me.

Student without bursary.
Asking for 30% extra in marks because your teacher is busy striking for 3% of the time is like the whole population of Spain asking for free flights due to the airport demonstrations. There's nothing to indicate you would have gotten those marks anyway! I laughed at the dude who shouted into the camera: "We demand 30% extra marks for Matric exams!" Sit down junior. You're in no position to demand shit. This isn't political demonstration, this is school and you need to work harder MOTHERFUCKER!

I want to become a teacher so I can write "EPIC FAIL" on tests. LOL.
I happen to know that 30% is quite easy to make up with a little bit of perseverance and hard work-type action. Granted, my classes had like 7 people and my teachers didn't strike but they might as well have. I mean I wasn't paying attention anyway! I was a basket-case bad student at school but after Matric, I made it because I grafted.
This Matric pass was brought to you by the great taste of Coffee.
I'm willing to bet that the girl who got straight A pluses throughout school got a distinction despite the teacher's strike so in my warped mind, the kids who wanted the extra 30 were lazy and probably only getting in the region of 20-30. They weren't prepared to do the extra work to get into tertiary institutions in order to study Hotel Management or something like that and so they asked for 30. How would genius girl feel if on her first day of med-school, she was surrounded by old schoolmates she knew were 60% average motherfuckers. She wouldn't feel very vindicated would she?
I is gonna be a vet, paw.
Why 30% anyway? That's over a quarter of what the absolute limit is! That's ridiculous! I can totally imagine all the dumb fuck kids sitting in a committee and discussing what randomly high-ass figure to "demand" in order to pass Matric. Why didn't you ask for 5%? That would have probably happened but alas...
Embrace it.
Anyway, not everybody failed. Most of you passed and some made it to university and college despite some intense adversity. That's the way. Keep that attitude and you'll make something of yourself one of these days. Not that I believe any of you are even reading this. You're probably getting drunk.
"To threesomes! THREESOMES!"
Now, as you become big boys and girls, you will come to see the world as it really is: a dark place, full of unrealized potential, broken dreams and uncaring assholes. Gone are the carefree days when your parents took care of everything, gone is the relative ease of schoolwork and the coming home early, gone are lazy Saturdays and Coco Pops in the AM. It's cigarette breakfasts for you.
The breakfast of champions.
You're not going to be cool forever. Your amazing style is going to be phased out in 3 short years and you'll be forced to reinvent the person you worked so hard to cultivate again and again until you give up. Your reputation is gone. Shot.
The realization sets in.
School has not equipped you for what adulthood's going to throw in your direction. You're being spat out on the streets to fend for yourself against a cruel capitalist society bent on bleeding you dry. You think that you're free, that all you need to do is learn to drive and then you'll be able to do whatever you want but that in itself comes at a grave price.
For a student, being a driver means worrying about your dad ripping your spine out through your bumhole.
But you'll soon learn that you're more slave now than you were as a child. You, my young friend, are trapped. Now go out there and be somebody!
The Green Mullet... is mine!