My school is pretty middle class (though people’s definitions of middle class vary greatly–let’s skew a little to the lower side, shall we? Yes, we shall), but it’s sincerely deeply rooted in its rural, redneck-ness.
That said, the community’s changed quite a bit since I went to high school just down the road. The local strip mall area is starting to look more and more like the strip mall areas of the more affluent surrounding communities. The school is about ten minutes from two different Best Buy locations. More and more iPhones are popping up in the school (including mine. Thanks, Dad! Graduate school was difficult, and I appreciate the reward).
Just when I start to think that the winds of change are at gale levels (gale-ity?). That my school district is a region where college-educated parents will come to raise their kids on books and high expectations. Just when I start to assume my students live in an area that prides itself more on academic success than being able to identify with Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, a student opens his wallet and shows me pictures of his pet squirrel.
Suddenly, I’m reminded that this place hasn’t changed too much, but that is precisely why I love it and think these kids are just as neat as can be. Ok, I’m done with the NPR-esque attitude of “ain’t these backwater folk intriguingly droll?” I’m going to listen to that new Kid Rock song that I so totally identify with, because, you know, I did stuff with my teenage friends while music played in the background, too. Ugh.