Current/Recent Reading List

18 October 2007

The DRK's

One peer group I had forgotten about since my own high school days in suburbia is the Disaffected Rich Kids (DRK's, heretofore) crowd. Sure, at my previous teaching location there were disaffected rich kids, but while there were some similarities (heavy partying, academic ambivalence, and the penchant their parents have for buying them off), those rural kids were mostly big louts who rode around town in their new trucks, raised hell, and hardly made a secret of it. Many of them will have burned themselves out by age 22, and will have burned themselves into the stuff of George Jones tunes. And they don't try to hide much at all from their eye-averting parents.

The DRK's I refer to are a different breed - wealthy, generally not natives to the area, lingering at the intersection of skate-rat, emo, hip-hop, and Goth Streets. They are generally academically smart - though not motivated - and much more under the radar when it comes to the drinking, drugs, and sex they are involved in. They talk about it all, but you have to really have your ear tuned right to hear it. Their parents tend to be divorced, possibly re-married, and again, they've bought the kids off, except with PlayStation 3's instead of cars and trucks. Many of them are well-behaved in the classroom, but they always strike me as being on the verge of some sort of breakdown - they write on themselves with pens, and laugh too hard and loud, and try too diligently to be conforming non-conformists. They are more likely to be achievers, but also likely to spend time in rehab or psychotherapy (not that the rural Bubba's wouldn't be prime candidates as well - they are just less likely to go). Again, this is a type I can remember from way back in the late '80's at my school.

Well, in the back of my room, near my computer, sits a special little DRK who likes to write about how he doesn't have any real free speech, and how he hates cops, and other charming stuff. I wonder when he's ever seen a cop in the neighborhood I'm told he lives in. He makes fun of the way others smell, and of one girl's local accent (I set him straight about that in a hurry, you mite 'a guessed). His mom used to check up on him periodically, but has stopped, I notice, since his behavior has worsened. Last Thursday he started going on and on about how his grade had improved to a 78, and though I thought that sounded too high, I didn't stop to ponder it too long. The next morning, someone who rides the bus with him told me he was bragging about changing his grade on my computer; I looked, and sure enough there was a 100 where a not-yet-made-up test should have been. The grade went back to 73 quickly.

So, he sits in suspension for a couple of days, having denied everything, of course. Bet you can't wait until he hits the working world, huh?

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