I took 20 of my students to the University of Florida last Saturday. We were invited to a Journalism conference. The kids were great. They sat in the workshops and took notes; they kept calling the presenters "Professor" and asking tons of questions. I was like proud mama duck, watching all her little babies quacking around the college classroom like they belonged there.
Then, we went for the campus tour.
It started on the lawn, or the "Green Banana", which is a long stretch of grass in front of the Reitz Union. There I am, with 20 thirteen-year-olds in tow, and stretched out in front of us is a 20 foot banner screaming:
SEX ON THE LAWN!
Oh. My. God.
As alumni, I know that Sex on the Lawn is a safe-sex health fair put on by Planned Parenthood. I once volunteered for the event and was concidentally hit on by a lesbian during my shift. Ah, memories.
However, I know that all those teenage eyes are zeroing in on the words SEX! Before any questions came come up, I say, "Ok guys, I know you see the sign, and I just want to remind you that this is a school for those eighteen and older. I want you to know that this is an event to promote safe sex, not just sex."
"But, Ms. L? Why did they name it that?"
"Well, why do you think they gave the event that name?"
"To make people come?"
(Stifling giggles) "Exactly. Remember - we just learned about a marketing campaign?"
"Ahh, okay..." they mutter. Still whispering and giggling. But moving on.
I take a deep breath and center myself. Ok. Crisis averted. I am not going to lose my job.
Then we round the corner and see a wall of SEX ON THE LAWN fliers advertising Condom Races and Vagina Coloring Contests!
I didn't know what else to do. I broke into a jog and shouted "Avert your eyes! Just don't look at it! Keep moving!"
Even some things are too awkward for this working girl.