Friday, May 8, 2015

A Thousand Words

"Ugh!" I said when I saw the screen saver one of my students had chosen for his iPad. "What is that?"

"It's cool!" He told me as we looked at a super close-up of a sneering, very pierced and very, very tatooed individual.

I shrugged. It's not my business what the kids put on their devices as long as it's not inappropriate for school. I know my taste and their taste may be quite different, and that's okay, so I try not to judge. This time, I slipped.

"You don't like it?" he asked rhetorically, for it was pretty clear to both of us that I did not.

"I'd just like to see something a little more wholesome for you," I told him honestly. He's a kid that's had some trouble this year– super smart, but tough home life, and he doesn't always make good choices, and he has been defiant and oppositional at times.

He frowned. "What does that mean?" But before I could say, his face brightened. "Wholesome? W-H-O-L-E-S-O-M-E?" he asked. I nodded. "I've seen that word! I know it's good, but I'm not sure how."

"Look it up," I suggested. "You have your iPad."

He did so eagerly, and then scanned the Google definition: good, ethical, moral, clean, virtuous, pure, innocent... Then he clicked on Images at the top of the same search screen and quickly scrolled through, selecting one, screen-shotting it, and replacing the wallpaper on his iPad in under 30 seconds with a picture of the penguins from Happy Feet.

"How's this?" he asked.

I gave him a thumbs up. "I like it."

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