Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Kids are Alright

Recently a friend texted me and asked if I would like to speak to her son's school about disability. I couldn't say yes fast enough, because frankly...
  1.  I love talking and rarely do people in my actual life want me to do so. [Tangent: If anything, all I hear is, "Ughh...rewind it. Kimmie was talking and I missed that part of the movie!"]
  2.  I think it's important to put disability in front of kiddos and make it accessible and not scary or strange. 
  3. I did it for my friend Amber's school a few years ago and thought it was super fun...mostly because 6th graders have really great questions like "How do you grocery shop?"
[Tangent: Let's face it- no one wants to be the boring adult lecturing them. I was fully am prepared that these kids would not be not listening and just passing notes the whole time....oh wait...do preteens even do that anymore? I bet they text or kik message or tweet or something. Maybe I will be snapchatted with the caption "Adults R Lame. LOL!"  Who knows! When I was in school, at some point I remember listening to one of the members of Lynard Skynard talk to our school about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Brilliant and riveting, right? Well...I was a youth and likely not paying attention, so I cannot even tell you who it was because at that point if it wasn't currently on TRL...I was not interested. I had no sense of history at that moment in time.]

My sister teaches middle school, and from her stories...it is an understatement that I was a little worried that these kids would be rolling their eyes or filing their nails or Kik! messaging or doing something similarly disrespectful while I tried to enlighten them to the wondrous world of disability awareness. [Tangent: My friends on Facebook all urged me to perform a rap...because nothing would make me seem cooler than attempting to get all street in that Catholic school gymnasium!] 

a rendering of what that would look like
Thankfully, this crop of kids was super proper and throughtful and sweet. They also made it easier on me because I had an hour to fill...and only 12 minutes of material to go over. THANK ALL THAT IS SACRED THAT THEY WERE INQUISITIVE!!! 3/4 of the session was spent fielding questions, where only about one third of them had to do with disability. Although, I was asked some really thoughtful questions that seemed way deep for a girl who is not even a teenager yet [Tangent: i.e. "Why do you have a positive attitude and get outta bed everyday?" ....That one floored me a bit.] Here are some of my favorite random questions I was asked.

  1. Do you like Dr. Who? 
  2. Do you keep a garden? 
  3. Are you allowed to keep small pets? 
  4. What do you like to order at Sonic? 
  5. Have you seen American Sniper
I guess preteens are pretty awesome, despite the fact that I got some stink eyes when I admitted to them that I loved Taylor Swift. Oh well.

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