April 11, 2007

I’d forgotten how much work it is to come back to school after a week off.  Still recovering… I feel like I’m in a fog.  Luckily, so do the kids, so they’re not noticing anything.

March break is, of course, the prime time for international student travel.  We’re still missing  one group of kids, who are off traveling through Europe.  I miss these kids; the tone in class is decidedly less businesslike without them. Luckily, none of ours were involved in sinking ships and such.

Unfortunately, students from Tofield School visiting Santorini weren’t so lucky.  Their ferry sank from underneath them.

While reading about the events, I came across this interesting passage, aparantly in reference a grade 10 student at Toefield.

Strilchuk, 16, said she and her friends had no life jackets. When she saw a man clutching one, she pleaded with him to hand it over.

She said she made a fist and punched him in the face when he wouldn’t.

“He was holding it and he was 40 years old and we were kids,” she explained, adding that she pulled the life jacket from him and gave it to a friend.

Strilchuk said she later punched another man and took his life jacket for herself.

And this makes me absolutely sick

Lord of the flies on the high seas, indeed. Some punk ass kid believes that she has the right to someone else’s lifejacket, that she assaults not one, but two fellow passengers and steals theirs.  It’s a disgrace.  She should feel very ashamed of herself.

Now of course, none of us were there on that ship, and few of us have ever been in such a situation. But I can tell you unequivocally that I would never do such a thing.  Would you?

It’s related to this sense of entitlement I feel that too many kids have these days.  “It’s no fair that you have something that I want”, I can almost hear them whine. “Give it to me or I’ll… I’ll…”

What, drown?

A 45 year old man and his 16 year old daughter died in this tragedy. Kristen Strilchuk had better hope that one of people she punched and stole from  was not this man.

Such events have a habit of haunting you for a while.


  1. This isn’t entitlement– it’s panic. Give the girl a break!

  2. I might buy it as panic if the girl said something like, “I can’t believe that I did that.” It’s clear from “He was holding it and he was 40 years old and we were kids” that she believed at the time, and continues to believe, that her youth entitled her to the life jacket. (The possibility that this 40-year-old might have several kids of his own doesn’t occur to her, of course.)

    I can only hope that this horrid girl ends up in a similar situation when she’s 40 and that some self-centered 16-year-old is present to give her a good punch in the face.

  3. Sorry, Startling, I don’t buy it. She seems almost proud of what she did, at least s’far as the the newspaper reports it.

    Look, as a teacher, I’ve seen it many many times. Kids of a certain age, with a certain parental influences and life experiences, seem entitled to things they don’t deserve. They (say they) deserve a good mark on a test, but didn’t study, or time out of class to work on yearbook, but didn’t do last night’s homework.

    It’s an interesting ethical dilemma which, were I social studies teacher, might be interested in handing to my class in the form of a debate.

    And there’s also the reports of other students running back and forth gathering life jackets for elderly passengers who didn’t have one before they abandoned ship. That’s more heart warming. Clearly it’s not kids in general that are the problem.

    Merely one selfish and stupid little brat.

  4. Lots of comments on this issue in local papers and on the Web:

    Edmonton Sun

    A huge 13 page discussion on

    Virtual Tourist

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