If Luck is a lady, Karma is her trashy illegitimate cousin (Back to School Night)

Tonight is one of my most dreaded nights of the year: Back to School Night.

I don’t dread it because I’m specifically scared of meeting my students’ parents en masse. (Although I DO sometimes worry that they’re going to take one look at me and start laughing hysterically and ask, “No, really, where’s our kids’ ACTUAL teacher?”)

I dread it because I was the kid who used to send my dad after the teachers I didn’t like when he went to my school’s Back to School Night.

And if I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that if Luck is a lady, Karma is her illegitimate cousin who’s too trashy to even be cast on Jersey Shore.

In general, Back to School Night has been fine for me. Because I run the school newspaper, I wind up speaking mostly to parents who I’ve already known for a couple of years. So for my newspaper classes, parents usually come in, hug me, then ask how they can help support us. In other words, they’re wonderful and I love them.

My English classes are a little scarier. With a room full of kids, it’s easy. I am clearly in charge. I know it. They know it. Piece of cake. With a room full of adults, some of whom are old enough to be MY parents, I don’t feel like I’m in charge. Especially because I get asked every year by at least one parent how old I am. And if you’ve been reading my blog faithfully, you know that I do NOT like to talk about my age.

 And in a couple of disturbing cases, I’ve been asked out.  Even if the parents are good looking and single (which hopefully they are if they’re asking me out), I’m not exactly ready for a high school aged stepchild.

The trick is to have enough to talk about to fill the whole ten minutes without room for a lot of questions. Because if you talk too fast (which I am constantly guilty of), you’ll have six minutes left for questions. And no one ever has general questions about the class. The questions are always specific to their child (and you can’t answer ONE of those without answering all of them), or they’re policy questions about the county or the school, and I never know the answers to those.

Usually I come away from Back to School Night knowing that I did a great job. But every once in awhile, a parent comes in with a grudge. The worst of those was at my old school. I was talking about the books that we were reading in the class, and one mother interrupted me to say that she found our choice of books inappropriate (Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird).

I tried to be honest and say that while Of Mice and Men isn’t one of my favorites, I think To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books ever written. This particular mother argued that the kids should be reading more contemporary choices. I said that I agreed that using books that they were already interested in reading, such as the Harry Potter books (which were HUGE at the time), would be useful in getting kids to develop a love of reading, I didn’t think that the county, who selected our books, agreed with that idea, but I encouraged her to take it to them.

Apparently this was a big mistake.

The next day, I was called down to my principal’s office during a planning period and told we had a serious problem. The mother who had criticized the book choices went up to my principal after my class, absolutely livid, and claimed that I was promoting Satanism.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Then, my principal told me that we had an even bigger problem with her other complaint about me, and that it was something that I was going to have to deal with.

Her complaint?

I was too young.

And my principal told me this completely deadpan. It took me a good five minutes to realize he found the situation funny.

I’ve never had any situations like that since then, and I usually get emails from parents the following day telling me that they loved my enthusiasm or see why their kids love my class. Which is a great ego boost.

But I’d still rather be home gearing up to watch Jersey Shore. If it runs late, I really hope the parents will understand that I need to get home to watch that. Their kids are my top priority from 7:25am until 2:10pm. The fight between Snooki and Angelina is going to be my priority tonight from 10pm until 11pm.

I’m not going to tell them that though. If liking Harry Potter means I was promoting Satanism, I don’t even want to begin to think about what liking Jersey Shore is promoting.

Team Snooki all the way!

If you call me during Jersey Shore, you’ll be president of the IFF!

I love Jersey Shore.

I’m not proud of this.

But I cannot deny my love for this show.

I don’t watch ANY other reality tv. And I think that’s the point. Jersey Shore is SO far from reality that it deserves its own category on television. I mean, you couldn’t make that stuff up! Oh wait, actually, you could. Okay, you couldn’t REALLY have that stuff happen in real life.

Which is why I love it so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I HATE four of the characters with a passionate and irrational, all-consuming rage. I hope Angelina dies. Like literally. I hope JWoww kills her. I don’t hate anyone in my own life with the vehement fury that I have toward that backstabbing Staten Island whore. But she causes so much drama that I can’t look away.

That’s what the show is. Drama. It’s a trainwreck. But it’s more extreme. Like a train wreck/airplane crash/natural disaster all rolled into one. So imagine an airplane crashing into a train wreck, while an earthquake is occurring, a volcano is erupting, and a tsunami is hitting, while the Hindenburg explodes overhead. THAT, my friends, is the level of ridiculousness that can only be found on Jersey Shore.
 

 I wish it were on every day.

Although if Sammi takes Ronnie back one more freaking time, I’m going to lose it. I don’t ACTUALLY care if they’re together or not. Honestly. If she’s stupid enough to keep taking him back after the stuff he’s said to her, then she deserves his dumb ass. But I’m worried for the fate of humanity. If those two morons reproduce, the world will end within those children’s lifetimes. I promise. That level of stupidity would bring about the end of the world.

And I know that I’m in the minority here, but I can’t stand Vinny. I don’t get the appeal. I don’t think he’s cute. I don’t think he’s smart. I don’t think he’s funny. And he’s a mama’s boy. I see no redeeming qualities except that unlike Pauly D and the Situation, he’s never hooked up with Angelina. For that alone, I hate him less than the other three characters whom I hate. But he hooked up with the Situation’s sister, and she looks JUST like the Situation, which was super creepy. And I mean that in the skeevy sense, not the hitting on girls sense.

But for how much I despise those four, I love the other four characters in equal measure. (Technically, they’re probably not considered CHARACTERS. But I’m convinced that the show is scripted. Because NO ONE is that dumb. I hope. I really, really, REALLY hope no one is that dumb in real life.)

Snooki is probably the most famous at this point.

I have no idea why.

She’s awful. I know she’s awful. But I can’t help but love her. I love when she does her whiney, “WAAAAAHHHHH,” when things don’t go her way. I love that she wears her hair high enough to double her own, admittedly miniscule, height. I love that Weekend Update compared her to Garfield because she’s fat, bright orange, and loves lasagna.

If anyone else did any of the things she did, I’d probably murder them. But Snooki pulls it off. And I know it’s horrible, but I find it hilarious that she gets her ass kicked so often. Poor Snooki.

Then there’s Pauly D. My favorite Pauly D moment was when he explained to the Gelato Shop owner that his hair doesn’t move when he’s going 150mph on a street bike on the highway, so he doesn’t have to worry about it falling in the ice cream. And he’s proud of that! I could have lived without knowing about his special piercing in the first season, but I still find him hilarious.

My second favorite is JWoww. She’s total white trash. Have you ever checked out her website? It’s awful. Half of it is misspelled, and she’s got a link to her plastic surgeon on there. She actually does. And she sells those crazy, gravity-defying shirts that she wears too. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m tempted to buy one. I’d never wear it in public, but I’d seriously wear it just while watching the show.) I love JWoww though, because she’s a badass. If someone does wrong by her or one of her friends, she’s going to kick their ass. I respect that. And who can forget her drunken confessional session in which she revealed her love for eating ham and drinking water?

Priceless.

And because I saved the best for last, that brings us to The Situation. He’s an arrogant jackass. But he knows it. And, believe it or not, he’s actually the smartest one on the show. He has a much better sense of humor than any of the other cast members, can take it when people make fun of him, and can make fun of himself. I’m not remotely attracted to him, and I wouldn’t hook up with him if we were the last two people on the planet. But I would love to be friends with him. Any guy who can make fun of himself this well, would be fun to be around, even if he IS a misogynistic jerk. And hey, he cooks!

So Thursday nights, between 10 and 11pm, you’d better not call me. Because I’m going to be watching my favorite (and least favorite) guidos and guidettes, with my hair poofed up and an inch-thick layer of bronzer on. And if you interrupt that by creeping on me to ask if I’m DTF, you’re going to replace Ronnie as the president of the IFF. Can I get a fist pump?