RE: My Lil Wayne Problem

Ethan was cool enough to comment on a previous post about Lil Wayne. I was going to just comment back, but then it got long and post-worthy.

Ethan, thanks for cutting me at least a little slack. True, I don’t listen to much rap (it’s 3% of my iTunes library–I did the math). While attempts to branch out have been sincere and fruitful, I wouldn’t blame you for mocking my listening to Jay Z and Wu-Tang through Pandora.com.

But, I’m not “retarded.” Come one, Ethan! I used the word “acuity”–correctly, even. I can also tie my shoes and do simple math problems in my head.

That said, I stand by my original argument that Lil Wayne presents a problem for teachers like me facing an already difficult task of getting 14 year-olds to recognize the importance of writing correctly.

Imagine Michael Jordan, at the peak of his fame. Now imagine MJ screaming “6 x 3 = 14” every time he makes a basket. Think of how devastated our nation’s math teachers would feel, knowing that thousands of students are watching a role model treat their revered subject with such lazy ignorance. That’s how Lil Wayne makes me feel.

Lil Wayne’s style is “amazing,” according to my students, and I’ve heard the same from people I respect, but that doesn’t forgive his crimes against a subject I know my students need to comprehend in order to achieve greatness. Does he have greatness in him? I’m sure he does. Is he super rich and famous while I spend my time writing a second post about him on a blog no one reads? Yes, but he’s in the public spotlight, worthy and deserving of criticism.

Also, this wouldn’t be the first time a semi-foolish person made lots of money while also making my job more difficult.

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