I found it incredibly depressing for several reasons:
- The heavy emphasis on drugs, sex, and material possessions.
- The rejection of values such as familial connections (and I don't mean only in the narrowest "family values" sort of way), respect for established traditions/institutions, and the value of education.
- I've heard 90% of the entries in my classroom and I'm just not ready to think about school again.
- The dictionary itself is poorly and inconsistently edited. (Sorry, but that sort of thing really bothers me.)
- While I realize that language is a living system and is always changing, I think that using the degree of slang words that my students use impairs their ability to speak and write Standard American English. I also think that using the most current slang words diminishes the built-in subtlety inherent in the English language.
- As a recent college graduate teaching in an "at-risk" environment, I feel like I should be embracing or at least striving to understand the culture that this dictionary represents, and I don't. I think there is something wrong with these people, and with a society or culture or government or whatever that caused this mindset to become normal for so many. I experience pangs of guilt about this, and I question my commitment to my liberal and progressive ideals, but I just want to move somewhere like Idaho or Wyoming that doesn't have these urban problems.
So mostly it's the last thing. I feel like a bad liberal. I feel like I should vote Republican, quit my job, learn to lay brick, and help the right-wingers build that wall around America, and that makes me sad. I see educators like Ron Clark, who really have made a difference in some of our most urban schools, and I have absolutely no desire to teach in that environment.