Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This may be the best one anyone has ever sent me...
Teacher: ...so we're all going to read a part of this speech.
Student: This is stupid.
Teacher: I don't care if you think it's stupid.
Student, eyes wide: I said that out loud???
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sometimes I forget that kids view teachers as mythical creatures who only exist in the school setting. I had the following exchange with a friend and one of her students as I was leaving her classroom this morning:
Me: OK, see you at lunch (I start walking to the door
Her: Oh, [my first name], hold on can you...
Dumb kid: [MY FIRST NAME]?!
Me: Yes [dumb kid]?
Dumb kid: That's your name?
Me: Why yes [stupid kid], you know, teachers have first names too...
Her: ...and it's not Ms.
Me: Right, so my name is [First name, Last Name].
Dumb kid: Whoa, that's awesome.
See also this earlier post, for further evidence of us being real people...or of us being robots!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Yesterday in one of my senior classes I was sitting at my desk while my students worked on an assignment. Two boys, Kid #1, a Mormon skater who is hilarious, and Kid #2, a metal-head AP drop down, were having the following conversation:
Kid #1: You remember the movie we watched at Jamie's last week about coke?
Kid #2: Um, Blow?
Kid #1: Definitely not. I would have totally laughed at that title.
Me too, kid.
Monday, September 21, 2009
While discussing interesting wording in a poem...
Girl #1: Barnacles! That's a funny word! It's like in Spongebob!
Girl #2 (unamused): It's like in the ocean.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
More from my friend who teaches sophomores...
"Dedication is not cheating on your girlfriend. Obsession is building a shine in your bedroom."
Friday, September 18, 2009
A friend emailed this to me today and I laughed for a good ten minutes.
* * * * * *
In today’s edition of “why teaching sophomores makes you want to reach in through your ear and pull your brain out,” I try to teach a passage from Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.
Teacher: “’It is not a man's duty—‘“
Kid: “DOODY??? Hee hee!”
Teacher: “Duty. Like job. ‘It is not a man’s dut--,er, JOB, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous, wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty—‘”
Kid: “Hee hee.”
Teacher: “Job! ‘...it is his job, at least, to wash his hands of it--‘“
Kid: “HA HA HA HA!!!”
Teacher: “’…and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders.’”
Kid: “…!!!...there’s a man on his shoulders? While he’s doing a doody?”
Random kid who just tuned in: “Wait, there’s a guy on his shoulders? Why?”
Teacher: “He’s saying that he can’t infringe on anyone else’s basic rights.”
Kid 2: “The basic right to not have a man on me.”
Teacher: “It’s a metaphor. ‘…If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. I must get off him first—‘”
Kid: "WHAT?! GROSS!!"
Teacher: “’—that he may pursue his contemplations too.’”
Thursday, September 17, 2009
An actual conversation I had in my 6th hour Junior English class:
Kid (about an excerpt from Emerson's "Self-Reliance"): Was, like, Emerson, like, high when he wrote this?
Me (deadpan): Yes. Totally high. He and Henry David were smoking the ganga and making up Transcendentalism. In fact, "Self-Reliance" is actually all about weed.
Kid (letdown): Oh.
Me: I have to leave now.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My seniors were quite amusing this morning, as they would rather talk about random stuff than do work.
From my senior boys who were discussing the plausibility of Hannah Montana: "If Megan Fox walked in here and she was wearing a red wig I'd still know it was Megan Fox. And I do her."
Secondly, a girl passed another girl gum and then when she saw me looking in her direction, she hurriedly said, "It's not drugs! I swear!!"
Sunday, September 13, 2009
In college I was a Spanish major for a year and a half in college, until I changed my major to English. I still like to help kids with their Spanish homework and I speak the language as often as possible to keep myself from forgetting everything. Knowing I love Spanish, a friend who teaches in the Northwest sent me this...
Kid: I like the word 'porque.' Do you know what it means, Mrs. ----?
Kid: HOW DID YOU KNOW???
Teacher: Uh, that's not a secret teenager language. It's Spanish.
I had blocked this one out, but it all came flooding back to me today as I was cleaning house and dancing around to some Daft Punk.
At the end of last school year I was having a conversation with one of my co-workers at the end of the day. She is, hands down, the smartest person I know and I can imagine her saying this in the most serious and incredulous tone possible.. She had the following conversation with one of her honors junior students...
Teacher: I'm sure next time you'll do better.
Kid: Yeah, I know. It's like Kanye says, "That that don't kill me can only make me stronger. Oh and also harder, better, faster and stronger."
Kid: Yeah, it's a Kanye West song.
Teacher: No, Kanye stole that, it's a Daft Punk song. Rule one: Don't disrespect Daft Punk in my class.
EDIT: In keeping up with pop culture, after seeing clips of Kanye at the MTV VMAs last evening,I must acknowledge that he really is a tool.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I've been grading vocab homework, which I strangely love, and the sentences the kids write are hilarious. Some examples, with the vocab word underlined for your information:
I consider Satan profane for a variety of reasons.
Mike's mom is a pacifist. (It could be true?)
John killed the pacifists that stood in his way of world domination. (OK, this one actually makes sense, I just added it in because it's awesome.)
I hate it when people are belie.
The fervor is a lot.
He is good with cajole.
People need to be venerated.
Were you abridged as a child?
Something tells me they didn't entirely understand the words...
Monday, September 7, 2009
From a friend who teaches at a Catholic high school.
* * * * *
Attended beginning of the year Mass. Not one but three priests.
Overheard as students file out: "I feel so holy now. I'll get over it by G-Period."
Sunday, September 6, 2009
People often ask what the worst thing a student ever said to me was. I was looking through my personal journal from my first year of teaching today and came across the answer. While kids say some awful things, I think this one, from when I was a 23 year old first year teacher, takes the cake...
* * * * *
09 March 2005 @ 08:58 pm
And sometimes a student informs me that someone close to me should die because when people close to you die it makes you a nicer person and I need to be a nicer person. Why? Because I wouldn't take a late assignment, which obviously makes me a terrible person. I literally had to choke back the "fuck you, you little shit". I informed him that my grandfather died when I was 15 and my college roommate died 3 years ago and here I am, still a bad person, so apparently his theory doesn't work. I then walked out of the room (leaving the kids in [my co-teacher's] care, of course) and sat on the floor in [a friend's] classroom for 20 minutes to cool off.
Really, you should tell someone you want someone close to them to die? Wow, I guess I'm not up on "how to talk to people" lingo.Fuck, I quit, I don't need this from 16 year olds.
* * * * *
I ended up having the student for two years in a row and after my anger subsided we got along quite well. Unfortunately I never quite got over the comment and to this day it remains the worst thing a student ever said to me.
Friday, September 4, 2009
To end the week, let's see what college kids know about, arguably, the most powerful branch of the government...the legislative branch!
- Who elects the President?
- The House
- Or the Senators.
- Or the Electoral College. (Can you imagine if the House and Senate elected the President?)
- “Ummm, I want to say Democrat and Republican….” (Ummm, you want to say that because it’s true, dingbat)
- There are anywhere between 4 and over 100 senators.
- My favorite was “342 OR 52”
- How many House Reps are there?
- There are anywhere from 12 to 63 to “400 and something, but I’m not sure.”
- Most students thought the Governor of my state was a senator.
- One student thought a dead governor was one of our current Senators.
- Very few actually knew either senator.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Let's see what college kids know about our armed conflicts!
- Who did we fight during the Revolutionary War?
- We fought
Japan, Mexico, France, Spain, and ourselves China
- Our enemies in WII?
Russia, Vietnamand South Korea
- Who was president during the Civil War?
- Or Thomas Jefferson.
- Or Hoover.
- Or Stephen F. Austin. (This kid gets points for knowing the name, but no points for picking a guy who was never even president.)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
So what do college kids know about the Constitution? Not nearly enough...
- What are changes to the constitution called?
- A change, Constitutional Change, “a draft?” or “a bill.”
- There have been 2 changes to the constitution. Or over 100. Or 10. Or “hundreds of thousands upon thousands.”
- Ladies, you have the right to “bare” arms. This is also the most important right granted to us.
- The Declaration of Independence was written in 1472. Before we had anything to be independent from. I think they were pretty independent before, you know,
came along and conquistadored everything. Columbus
- The Declaration was adopted in 1976. Or 1852.Or 1886.Or 1950.Or 1918.Or September 26th 1774. (yes, she was that specific. Specifically wrong.)
- One free phone call is a constitutional right granted to you in the Bill of Rights.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
For Tuesday, let's see what college kids know about the highest court in the land!
- What is the purpose of the Supreme Court
- Make bills, keep things in order, change bills (would you like $5s or $1s)
- They are federal?”
- “To Overlook the others” (Who are these poor neglected “others”? Are they they “others” like that freaky Nicole Kidman movie? Or “others” like in Lost?)
- “To pass or deny any bills” (it appears that my students operate from the assumption that the Supreme Court has been misnamed, and in fact should be called “Congress.”)
- Condoleezza Rice is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
- So is (zombie) Rehnquist. Or Tony “3 Fingers” Scalia (actual answer)
- Or Alito.
- Or, and I kid you not, Bill Gates.
- And of course, Hilary Clinton.
- There are 12, 1, 22 or 7 Supreme Court Justices. (I don’t know how they get anything done with 22 of them bickering about.