Being that I work within the school system down here in San Diego as a substitute teacher, I have been able to acquire a great deal of knowledge regarding trends with the youth. I'm still not up on my game with what the latest news is on the current state of Nickelodeon or what manga all the cool kids are reading. But I do know that kids love to read books about a guy named Captain Underpants, and yes, Choose Your Own Adventure books are still reppin'.

What I have also learned from my experiences, is that some third graders know how to throw up gang signs (although they don't necessarily know what they mean) and that snap music is more popular among elementary school kids than hyphy music. Dont get it twisted, every now and then, I do encounter a first graders who like to chant "go stupid, go dumb, dumb, dumb... tell me when to go." And I've even had a fourth grader show me how to do the thizzle dance. Moments like these nearly bring a tears of joy to my eyes. In the Bay, I'm sure its more of a common thing to see, but when I see this in San Diego, it shows me the reach of Bay Area music. I guess I could give props to the radio stations down here for showing a growing support for artists like the Federation, DB'z, Frontline, Keak, etc., but the radio stations down here are still wack.

But still, for every seven year old that recites a Mac Dre lyric, there's a bout twenty more seven year olds that won't stop snap dancing in line. Even in high school, with the exception of La Jolla High School, I dont think I have ever had an assignment in the past nine months where I didn't see a tall tee drenched sophmore with an Ipod, walking to class, leaning and rocking with it as he does the "matrix" snap. So sorry Bay Area, Atlanta's got you so far. Hopefully things will change.

Aside from learning about which regional music has a stronger hold on the youth of San Diego, I am also more aware of certain annual events that some of my peers might have forgotten since graduating from high school. We had Crack Week earlier this year, but this week is actually Red Ribbon Week the drug prevention and education initiative coordinated by the National Family Partnership (in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency and it's neverending war on drugs). So in commeration of the week that teaches kids how to use drugs [1], I bring forth a few public service announcements:

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tell us not to be a turkey:

You're right Pee Wee, crack is wack:

The commerical with the most classic line of all anti-drug commercials:

If you're still a curious cat and are interested in smoking that wacky tobacky, educate yourself with this accurate report on the effects of drugs:

[1] While I might joke about how much more I learned about drugs through programs such as DARE, I actually think drug education programs (taught properly, of course) would be a very effective and should exist, in such the way that sex education should exist in schools to make students aware and knowledgable of consequences and preventive measures so that one doesn't get burned.


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