Monday, January 10, 2005

This one time? At band camp? On crack? 

It's Freedom from Chemical Dependency week again here at the ol' prep, and once again The School in its infinite wisdom has invited a bunch of ex-addicts in to regale students with a week's worth of anecdotes. If previous curricula are any indicator, at week's end most students will be left with at least one of the following impressions:
  • drug use is cool
  • drug use is a cultural rite of passage
  • drug use does no permanent damage
  • anyone can successfully overcome addiction
  • doing drugs for a significant portion of your life can lead to getting paid to spend your life telling stories to kids

Like all such acronymic assemby-fodder (DARE, anyone?), the FCD program is predicated on the premise that kids will see the dangers of addiction in both the stories and the storytellers, and extrapolate consequences for their own potential behavior. But the program runs without faculty input, and most kids don't see moral lessons in stories voluntarily. I suppose there is some good in having the finally-sober display the extent of their brain damage to kids on the edge -- a properly-coached adolescent may be able to observe such symptoms-to-watch-for as shallow thought, short attention spans, and other typical results of long-term chemical dependency -- I just think most kids are too captivated by the stories to see the residual permanence of these effects.

Incidentally, to those who have written in to acknowledge a recent shift in tone when discussing The School: no, I have not become more cynical now that my job will be ending in June. Like all institutions, this place has always been susceptible to stifled reasoning and PC stupidity. It's just that now I have nothing to lose in being honest about it.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:15 PM |

Yeah, without the DARE program, I'd never have known what most drugs look like, or how to use them. On the other hand, if I'd ever had an interest in such things, it wouldn't have been hard to find out, either. Just sayin'...
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