You don’t have to go to college to surf

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My civics classroom, while a hub of democratic discussion, is an absolute monarchy. Some of my students might go so far as to call it a dictatorship, with an emphasis on the first syllable.

Other than my extremely genuine picture with Adrian Peterson, the décor is all about surfing. My students are not. Out of my nearly 100 eighth-graders, only around five have ever tried to stand on a surfboard. Roughly half cannot swim and have never stepped foot in the ocean. They can tell you anything you’d like to know about basketball, gangsta rap, hair weaves, or Call of Duty. Oh, and of course U.S. government (I hope).

I wondered, recently, if they knew anything at all about surfing. So I asked them. From their replies, I discovered they were more knowledgable than I imagined. Their answers ranged from ridiculous to insightful, and often amusing. Here are some of the more entertaining responses (with authentic spelling preserved):

-Surfing is a sport in which you stand on a board and pull off slick tricks. You musn’t do it as a rookie or you could drown.
-One surfing move is the hang 10. I know this from the back of a shampoo bottle.
-Can’t surf in the sand.
-Sufering can be very dangerous.
-Some people end up living at the beach because of it.
-When you surf its good to have cleared your mind before and to be happy and free your mind.
-It’s a sport you win by being in the longest distance and longest on the board.
-You attempt to ride a wave by gliding against the wave while it makes the circle thing.
-The bigger the board the easier it is to use so generally beginners use these but more experienced surfers use smaller boards.
-Skate boarding on water with out wheels.
-You get a surfboard, go towards the ocean, then catch a wave going back to shore. You can be a 4 year old or even an 80 year old grandpa.
-Surfing is quiet.
-I know not a single thing about surfaing except that the object is to ride a wave in the most awesome way possible.
-There are various extensive tricks to learn, and that a large amount of safety hazards are present.
-You need patience because sometimes you can try your hardest but the wave will let you down.
-They put wax on the board to make it smoother.
-Things you need before you surf: a bodysuit, a surfboard, and knoledge on how to surf.
-I know that if you are in the middle of the ocean and catch a fish, you should let it go and not put it in your pocket and continue surfing.
-If you are lucky enough you won’t get eaten by a shark.
-Beyonce likes to do it on her surfboard.
-A board is about three feet long and flat.
-You don’t have to go to college to surf.
-If you fall you get saved by life guards.
-You have to wax surfboards to get them all grippy and stuff.
-A person gets on a wood board and rides waves.
-There are multiple ways of surfing such as boggy boarding.
-Surfers usually wear a wet suite.
-Surfing is most popular in California or New Mexico because they have better waves than the Atlantic Shore due to gravitational pull coming from the moon.
-You get on a bord that looks like a long skate bored and you get on top of it and ride the waves.
-The trick of it is to do it while you’re on water.
-Don’t wear a shirt or you’re lame. And you gotta be tatted so you can look cool.

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