Quickie: The 99%

Just for funsies, I asked the freshmen in my 8am General Studies class what they thought about the Occupy movement. Most of them stirred in their self-satisfied slumber just long enough to convey, via blandly appalled stares and the occasional shaken head, that they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. (a good number of students in my other two sections were equally, which is to say, completely, unprepared to discuss the topic)

After one student offered up his awareness of “something about 99% vs. 1%” (a noble effort), I patiently explained the basic concepts behind the movement, brought the class ‘up to speed’ on recent events, more or less, and looked around the room, encouraging any kind of response.

One girl eyed me suspiciously before blooming ever so slightly with inspiration and then mumbling quietly.

“Sorry, what was that?” I asked. “Go ahead,” I smiled.

She blinked.

“You mean like ‘Goodfellas’?”

I blinked back.

“You mean, the mafia?”

She nodded. Solemnly.

“Well, no,” I responded respectfully, “I mean, it’s actually more about legal possession of wealth than illegal gains, but…”

I glanced around at the enlivened students as they huddled telepathically behind their fearless prophet. I cleared my throat.

“But you bring up a good point.”


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3 responses to “Quickie: The 99%

  1. Robin

    Hurrah – you posted again! I keep checking, loyally and procrastinatorally. I love your sketches. Can I somehow get in (“overpaid semi-co-not-really-editor”?) when you publish your collected observations and quips?

    And – seriously? The mafia? I don’t think even my ninth-graders were quite that… creative. In other news, the fifth-grader I’m tutoring was literally falling asleep during our session today.


    • jj

      Thanks, Robin! You’re welcome to be an overpaid anything-you-want if I ever publish something. Indeed, your freshmen could teach my freshmen a thing or two about political awareness, I bet.


      • Robin Richardson

        A group of my freshmen wrote a fabulous skit for an assignment on “The Odyssey” two years ago, recasting Odysseus’s journey to the underworld with then-contemporary political figures. I loved it (it may have helped that the students were all democratic leaning… ) Anyway, I’ll see if I saved a copy I can send you.


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