That’s how my year started. A conversation about thongs. The only thing worse than hearing a student’s conversation about thongs is hearing a student’s conversation about the condition of said thongs. And their condition was bad…

Nasty. Crusted. Worn out.

It was Felicia, because it always is when it’s dealing with something sexual, and she said to Gabriella, “She gave him an STD, and she had to burn her thongs because they was crusted.” To which Gabriella replied, “What?! Like, which part? The butt part of them?” But Gabriella is Hispanic, so “like” crinkled her face as it came out, and “them” was drawn out in disbelief.

I told them that I didn’t want to hear their gossip about a girl who had crusted thongs and how she had supposedly given another guy an STD because well, obviously she didn’t take care of herself if she had crusted thongs.

Felicia shouted across the room, “How ‘bout you quit eavesdroppin’!” But Felicia is African American (half), so “bout” made her head tilt to the side as it came out, and “droppin’” was split into two syllables—“drop-in.”

I said that it wasn’t eavesdropping if they were talking loud enough for the entire 8th grade wing to hear them and reminded them that a) you can’t get an STD from a crusted thong alone, b) there was no proof that the girl even gave the boy an STD, and c) I was done hearing about crusted thongs and STD’s.

Felicia tried to argue.

Gabriella nodded in agreement.

Carlos just laughed.

Then they started talking about Snapchat.

How was your first day of school?



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