Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Do you love cancer?

Good, now that I have your attention.....I started teaching about Tobacco today in class. I have found that teenagers are very visual learners and I like burning images or thoughts into their brains. As I was lecturing on Tobacco, I watched them start to get that "glazed over" look that all us teachers know too well, especially this time of year. So I said "Thats it, I'm done." I asked the kids about what they learned in junior high and found out I was beating a dead horse. I said "you guys know smoking is bad, you do it anyways. I'm not under any false pretense that because I say so, you will not smoke. I'm not stupid. BUT, I do want to tell and show you some things that will make you think twice when looking at a cigarette." The kids got dead quite and were intently hanging on every word I said. I pulled my chair to the middle of the front of the class, sat down and talked with them, not at them. It was extremely enlightening and by the end of the day my throat was sore as hell, but it was worth it. I told them the following true story (warning: story is a bit graphic):

This mother of a lady in our neighborhood had smoked for many years and got mouth cancer because of it. They had to remove her lips to keep the cancer from spreading. Well, for cosmetic purposes, she wanted to have lips again so the only skin that has similar consistancy and color to the lips is......the inside of her vagina lips. So they took the inside of her vagina lips, spread them apart, skinned the inside of them, and grafted them onto her mouth. Yes, she has vagina lip lips. Imagine Grandma wanting to kiss you then, after knowing where that came from! (apparently this was an episode of Nip/Tuck, says my students). Anyways, the cancer once again ate away the bottom portion of her new vagina lip lips and it had to be removed, leaving her with a horribly disfigured face. She now wears scarves below her nose to cover her mouth. ALL OF THIS WAS 100% AVOIDABLE.

It really had an impact on my students and word spread like wildfire. I asked them "how many of you will think of that story the next time you see a cigarette?" 100% raised their hand....my work was done for the day. I got to them in a way that no lecture from the book could have. Now, thats the mark of a good teacher. Tomorrow I will show them horrifying pictures that will really blow their hair back. They will have the facts, and images to go along with them. If nothing else, "they can't say I didn't warn them!"


At 8:58 AM , Blogger PanamanianStud said...

Now that's what I call teaching the children!!

At 9:44 AM , Blogger Tori said...

thats right, damn it.


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