Happy Birthday by Mag Gabbert
This is an essay about sex. About one teenager having sex, getting pregnant, and then having an abortion. But the biggest takeaway from this essay is that Meg Gabbert, at the age of 16, enjoyed having sex. The idea of teens having sex is just so awkward as an adult who works with teens. I don't like thinking of them having those desires and interactions; I just want them to sit in their desks and learn how to read, write, and think better than they did yesterday. But for most of them, they're probably sitting in those desks thinking about sex. To be honest, I feel creepy even typing that out.
SIDENOTE: I'm not talking about relations between kids and adults - that is just disgusting and should be punished much worse than it already is. And any teacher who has inappropriate "relations" with a student makes me beyond sick. Not only is it repugnant, but it also gives the 99.6% of us teachers who aren't pedophiles a bad name.
Back to my point: When I was 16 all I ever thought about was sex. My daily brain activity was divided up with 90% sex, 3% food, 3% baseball, 2% school stuff, and 2% the upcoming weekend and possible sex I may have. That's just how the teen brain works in many cases. I'm sure I'm exaggerating on the percentages but not by as much as I'd like to be.
Essay: 10 of 10
It's a very empowering piece of writing. It's sad that Gabbert went through what she went through but that is life. It is mistake after mistake during your teenage years and then responding to it and growing. Gabbert details how seriously stressful and life-altering getting pregnant as a teen would be. The scene where she tells her mom she was pregnant made me want to look away and the abortion scene is just terrible. The very last paragraph makes me happy though because Gabbert stayed true to herself, without apologies, and that lack of apology is the best part of this essay.
Teachability: 0 of 10
I just couldn't teach this essay to my classes. It is a very sex-positive piece and I just don't think that for right now, for right or wrong, public schools are a place for anything that looks at sex in a positive light. And to be honest, I don't know how I feel about that.