I’m a high-school educator by day.
In the teacher’s lounge, where I spend the menial amount of time I’m allowed for lunch, the Maury Povich Show is almost always playing. Before two months ago, I was not at all familiar with his signature “You are NOT the father!” refrain; now, it’s a running gag among the teachers. Though Maury, along with Jerry Springer and talk show hosts of their ilk have been around since I was my students’ age, the subject matter has apparently not changed very much: the show still champions the cultural detritus of the lower-middle class. Even when I was 14, I never understood the type of person who would allow themselves to be scrutinized in such backwards ways. It’s as if there’s a whole cross-section of America who has no problem letting the world know just how trifling their families really are. Today, the issue takes on a more sobering perspective: I look at my students and worry that many of them are itching to be a part of that cross-section.
Yes, I teach underserved, underprivileged black kids in the big city. My students are good kids, by and large, but I definitely see a number of them on the path to The Jerry Springer Show if no intervention is put into place. These are students who experience a dearth of positive male role models and are not taught the importance of education outside of school. I had my first parent-teacher conferences a couple days ago, and it was made crystalline to me why some of my students are who they are: their parents ain’t about a dollar.
So, for all you mothers out there, a simple request from a humble educator: Do everything in your power to keep your child away from daytime talk shows. Raise them to understand what most reasonable people do: that Maury, Jerry, Jenny, Ricki, Montel (the last three have come and gone) and all the others bereft of soul don’t have your best interests at heart when they exploit you and your problems. Teach your spawn that dirt is best kept under the family rug. Problems will exist, as they do in every family, but dammit…appearing on a talk show is the best way to make oneself incapable of being taken seriously, and of getting good employment.
Well, maybe second to getting a Mike Tyson face tattoo, but you understand what I’m trying to say.
More on Madame Noire!
- Why Aren’t They Married Yet? Celebrity Studs Over 40 We Wonder About
- Madame On the Street: Is Cheating Grounds for Immediate Divorce?
- What is Too Much? Ladies That Do the Most and Turn Men Off
- Why Your Guy Friend Is Not “Just A Friend”
- Your Fall/Winter Checklist For Keeping Your Hair Healthy
- The Luv Coach: School & Child – Or My Man?