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True Stories by Steve Keely
The most perplexing question in high school education is why females are better overall students than males, and now more so in math that traditionally has had male betters. I found the first palatable theory last night over a salad at the Blythe, Pizza Hut where I read evenings in ‘the homeless teacher’s’ corner seat, as my students who work there call it. The Valedictorian and her boyfriend the Fabricator were on shift, she with the highest grades in the Class of ’06 and he capable of building most anything with his hands. I questioned them that for seven years I had observed while sub-teaching, queried teachers and administration, read a couple hundred articles, and written my educated friends in a fruitless search for the solution to the mystery of the sexes in school.
‘That’s easy,’ popped the Valedictorian. ‘The girls pay more attention in
‘But why?’ I shot back.
‘That’s easy,’ said the Fabricator with a silly grin. ‘A greater percentage of the boys are stoned.’
In minutes I was privy to the personal stashes carried in little vials at the Hut. ‘In your day,’ one student averred, ‘pot was sticks and stones. Now it’s hydroponically grown dynamite.’ I took a short whiff from a jar without inhaling and could not add columns of numbers for ten minutes. The forthright student body there estimated that 70% of the guys regularly smoked dope (two or more times a week) vs. 30% of the girls, and 30% of the boys got stoned during class vs. 10% of the girls. That night all four workers were stoned except the Valedictorian.
So, you can dismiss the lesser justifications for sexually variant and general substandard high school performance such as inferior teachers, new math, computer learning, cultural invasion, and so forth. It’s Q.E.D. (Quit Educating with Drugs) as far as I’m concerned. However, as the Fabricator quickly pointed out, ‘There’s more to life than being smart,’ to which the Valedictorian sniffed, ‘Daft!’ and they kissed as I marched off with my answer.
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