Monday, August 07, 2006

School Train 

Caught a school train during the week, a special service that stops at places like Shenton Park and West Leederville but not at Subiaco. While I waited at the station, a group of boys talked and laughed. I remembered how good it felt to be out of school and on the way home.

Then one boy sought and received confirmation that someone who made a slur got the facts wrong. Who cares? asked the slurrer. You do, said the first, you... blah blah blah.

Yikes, I thought, now I remember.

When the train pulled in a bunch of kids dived out of nowhere to rush into the door nearest me. I joined them and discovered three girls sitting cross-legged on the floor, in the square marked for wheelchairs and prams. One of them attended a different school. She asked the others about a girl at their school they didn't like. The conversation went a bit like this:


What does she do?

Eats.

Who does she hang around with?

Nothing.

Ha, ha. She hangs around with nothing.

Did you know she's a lesbian?


Where do kids find these scripts? On the train and on the after-school buses the conversation is painful and predictable, familiar and unaffecting. So strange.

Comments:
I love school trains. They bring out the fascist in me. Nothing like pummeling little kids as you're trying to get out the door with your baby son while they're spewing into the compartment =).
 
Go Skribe! I flaunted my lack of uniform (quietly, as I stood looking out the door) and that's about it. :-)
 
See the sort of lanuage I have to listen to all day!!! Kind a fun really when they turn words like gay around to mean "silly" in a nice way. What a gay thing to do. When someone slips over.
 
Hey Andrew,

I did think of you (and other teachers) while I pondered on this. I forgot to mention that sometimes the snippets I hear are sometimes funny or sweet or original.

I heard 'gay' used with the newer meaning on an Australian soap recently. I can't be sure, but I think it was Neighbours.
 
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