Reality Bites Another Day, S1 E2

Today’s post is the flip side of yesterday’s post Reality Bites.

remote control

Anne, once again, plopped herself down on the overstuffed couch, tossed off her shoes, and turned on the TV. Another afternoon of Reality Bites to fulfill her guilty pleasure. That is, watch the five clueless (about the fact their lives are being recorded second by second, day after day) young college students talk about private matters and, hopefully, do yet another jaw dropping activity. Another day for Anne to lose herself into their world, escaping from her own.

As Anne watched the TV screen, the character named Carrie sat in a quiet corner talking on the phone with her boyfriend. Telling him things Anne was pretty sure Carrie wouldn’t be saying if she knew the world was listening in. As she was talking to him, Carrie was also holding a framed photo of her boyfriend. Admiring his shirtless torso.

What Carrie didn’t know was that a teeny tiny camera had been installed into the frame so that the TV audience was seeing a close-up of her dreamy face as she spoke to her lover.

Suddenly, Carrie pulled the frame away, then brought it right back, close to her face, making her features look magnified. “Whoa. That’s strange,” she began, speaking to her beau, and anyone watching the show, “but I have a freaky feeling that I’m being watched.”

She felt shaken. Odd. Like something was a bit off. Yet, she had no explanation as to why.

“Well,” her boyfriend laughed, “I hope not. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want anyone hearing what you plan on doing to me. Not that I’d mind!” He laughed, loud.

Anne was starring into Carrie’s eyes. All she could do was push her body further back into the couch, tensing all her muscles. She let out a deep, unexpected gasp.

What’s a 5th grader doing with a condom?


Alert! Alert! What’s a condom doing on an elementary campus? Who knows? Except for the kid, who was clutching it in his fist, dug deep into his pocket. Clutching it deep until he got caught. Not by a teacher. But by some other kids. Kids who screamed eeww! and gross! They kept screaming as they ran away, looking for someone to tell. As they were running, breathing deep, trying to get the word out, the kid quickly ran to the boy’s bathroom and flushed that plastic encased circular-shaped rubberized gadget – could it be considered a gadget? – down the fastest flushing toilet. Whew! he sighed. Gulp! he swallowed when he was approached just outside the door, by an angry looking adult, who whisked him away, straight to the man in charge.

During the lunch hour, an innocent kid, someone without a clue, but someone who was considered a witness, was asked what he saw. That poor kid felt nervous, didn’t know what to say, until, well, he just blurted that the other kid, the one who was in trouble, had something gross, something I don’t want to talk about. Oh, the poor kid. He just wanted life to go back to normal. Back to normal 5th grade things, like foursquare and climbing on the jungle gym.

The condom kid cried. Said he found it, at his home, in his much older brother’s truck. He didn’t think it was a big deal, until it became one. He thought it’d be funny, maybe blow it up like a balloon. Boy was he wrong. That’s not a funny, entertaining thing to do. Not at school, anyway. Not in front of adults trying to teach morals and values. No way. No how. Not there. But, oh my goodness, did that one little, or maybe it was big, condom start the buzz of conversation of other interested youngsters. Kids who were curious. Curious about things like that. Things like condoms, and what they are meant for. Oh geez! Later in the day, when all was dealt with, the kid, the one who caused all the ruckus, returned to the man in charge, full of tears and regrets. And was told to ‘never ever ever bring something like that here, to school, ever again. Never.’ Okay, is all the kid could say, a tear dribbling slowly down his cheek.



Carlos was told that his school’s annual test was going to be fun. Rewarding. Personal. A test that will help him, as an individual, grow to his highest potential. Carlos began to imagine it.

His teacher, Mr. Comp told him he’d be taking his state-mandated test on the computer, instead of bubbling in multiple-choice answers. “Carlos, imagine sitting in front of the computer and being presented with open-ended question after open-ended question, in all subjects.”

Carlos tweaked his head to the side, trying to picture it.

“And, rather than feeling pressured to perform, you are given time to think about, and plan your answers,” his teacher continued.

Carlos was seeing it. Liking the idea.

The questions would be scaffolded.”

Carlos needed the word defined.

“Meaning, questions would be based on your skill level; each question, after the first one, would be based on how you answered the previous question, layering it to your personal level of learning.”

“Nice,” Carlos gave a thumbs-up.

“Also, rather than lumping all of the kids in the class, or the state for that matter, into one category, giving everyone the same level of assessment, regardless of where they are on the learning curve, each would be able to show how they’ve progress over the year. Your scores would be based on you, and compared to your assessment from the previous year, showing your own personal growth. Imagine that, Carlos.”

“I think I would feel great! I think that kind of testing would really change the way I think about our annual assessment; and, also, really show my parents that I am learning. And not compare me with all the other kids in school. Plus, sometimes when questions are multiple choice, I just guess because I’m tired, don’t have a clue what the answer is, or I’m just not into it. So, this new kind of state test would be awesome!”

They were both silent for a moment, reflecting.

“Mr. Comp. Are you just wishing, or is this something you have been told about?”

“It’s on its way, Carlos, it’s on its way.”