07 January 2014

Sometimes the dancing monkeys have already left the building.

John (having arrived late to class): So what am I supposed to do now?

Me: Well, as I wrote on the agenda board, and as I said to the class during my introduction to this assignment . . . ohhhhh. You weren't here for that. Well, it's too bad you were late because the dancing monkeys did an excellent job answering a couple questions some of your classmates had. Cathy, I think the dancing monkeys really helped, didn't you?

Cathy: Oh, absolutely. And they were entertaining as well. It's too bad you can only have them once a year.

John: Dancing monkeys? What dancing monkeys?

Cathy (shaking her head sadly): Oh, you really missed something.

Me: It truly is a shame. But I'll try to help you understand this assignment.

John: You're not as much fun as dancing monkeys . . .

Me: Very true, but when you're late to class, sometimes you miss the dancing monkeys.

06 January 2014

Bird is the Word

Me (to the class): So please be sure to include ALL your sources in this rough draft.

George: So we should only include one source?

Dave: She JUST said to include ALL of them! Jeez, George.

George (sheepishly): Sorry!

Me (shaking my head): You know, I think it's so interesting how some of my students don't hear a word I'm saying.

Dave: What's that about your bird?

05 October 2013

Am I the Billy Bob Thornton of Teachers? Sigh.

John: Miss! I like your necklace! It looks weird. What's it made of?
Me: It's made of glass. I got it in Venice this summer.
John: It looks like a drop of blood.
Me: Um, I guess I see that. It is shiny and red.
John: Is that where you store the blood of bad students?
Me: Well, not yet . . .
John: No, this is better. It's where you store their souls.
Me: Hmmm. That's definitely more interesting, as I assume this year will be . . .

12 April 2011

The appropriate time to discuss the zombie apocalypse is after I've had a second cup of coffee.

John: Miss? I can't wait for the zombie apocalypse!

Me: Well, John, even though I'm tempted to ask why, instead I'm going to redirect your attention to your research project.

John: Miss! But the zombie apocalypse is gonna be great! All those zombies crawling all over everything, falling apart all disgusting-like. Eyeballs flopping out. I keep hoping it'll happen, and now I bet it does. I can't wait!

Me: Sigh. First, there would be nothing great about a zombie apocalypse. Second, it's impossible. Third, you're supposed to be researching Galileo. Finally, it's wrong to discuss the zombie apocalypse at 8:07 in the morning.

John: Miss? Why don't you just say, "Get back to work!"?

Me: It's more fun my way.

John: So, back to the zombie apocalypse. I can't wait! I'm going to have all this food stored up, and computers, and I'll have weapons stashed all over . . .

Me (interrupting): If you're really going to insist on discussing this, then do it the right way. You need to consider what type of zombies you'll be dealing with. If they're slow-moving zombies like in Night of the Living Dead, you'd be all set with just a bat. Something to whack them in the head with. If they're really fast, like in 28 Days Later, you'd better have something else, like guns, so you can whack them from farther away. If there is a zombie apocalypse, you can't count on having electricity to run a computer. Besides, you'll be too busy fighting zombies to be on Facebook. Now, don't forget to consider whether your zombies are made from a virus, radiation or interplanetary interference. And whether you could become a zombie from a bite, or whether it's transmitted via body fluids. These are important things to take into account.


Me: What?

John (shaking head):You might be more interested in zombies than I am.

Me: Hmm. Perhaps. But even though my knowledge of zombies would help keep me safe in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I would never hope for one.

John: I guess you're right, Miss. If it happens, it happens. In the meantime, though, I think I have some more movies to watch.

15 March 2011

Your eyes work better when they're not dangling on your chest.

(As we're writing rough drafts of an essay, John sneezes loudly.)

John: Oh, hey! Somebody better bless me right now or the devil will climb into my soul!

Class: Bless you!

John: My aunt taught me that. And did you know that if you held your eyes open and sneezed, it would blow your eyes right out of your head? My science teacher from last year told me that.

Me: Um, really? Hmmm. I'm not sure that's really accurate.

John: No, it's true.

(Michael nods vigorously.)

Me: Sigh. Okay. So let's try to find an example from the book to prove this point . . .

John: What? You don't believe me? I'll prove it.

Michael: Oh, I heard that, too. It's true. There was a show on the Discovery Channel about it.

Me: Um, okay. So, your topic sentence is good but . . .

John: It would look just like this:

John takes his lime-green earbuds from around his neck, positions the right one over his right eye and the left one over his left eye, pauses, and 

John: ACHOO!

John flings his earbuds from his eyes and rolls his head back and forth so the earbuds flop from his eye sockets, like tiny green eyeballs dangling by their roots.

Me: Ewwwww! Whoa. Thanks for that, John.

John: You're very welcome, Miss. But see? That's just what would happen, so it's a really good thing to keep your eyes shut when you sneeze.

Me: I don't think I have any choice, but thanks so much for the lesson. Please keep me posted on anything else I should know, okay?

John: Oh, I will.

07 January 2011

So now I have a LOOK . . .

(As students work on laptops creating a survival show in the style of The Hunger Games but set in a European country of their choice.)

Me (looking over John's shoulder): That’s good. Austria was a good choice. You’ve learned about the climate and terrain. How are you using this to develop your show?

John: Um, the contestants have to climb mountains.

Me: Okay. How many contestants?

John: 200.

Me: Um, 200 is a lot.

John (quickly): Okay. 20.

Me: Better. Okay, you’re in good shape. Make your rules and objective a bit more specific. Let me know if you need help.


Me: So, John, I'm wondering what Megan Fox has to do with your game.

John (quickly minimizing his googled Megan Fox images screen): She’s going to be in the game. I decided my game will be like those celebrity reality shows.

Me: Um, okay. It’s still got to be set in Austria in the mountains, though.

John (slowly): Right . . .

Me: No, really, you have to stick with Austria. You don't have enough time to switch countries right now. Also, you probably can't have Megan Fox climbing mountains in a bathing suit.

(George snorts.)

John: Um, she won’t.

(George snorts again.)
Me: Right? She'd die way too fast.

John: Yeeesssss . . .

Me: No, John, really. You need to stop looking for pictures of Megan Fox and finish defining your rules.

John: I am, Miss.

Me: Really?

John: Yes. Really. But I’m switching from Austria to Italy.

Me: You can’t. You don’t have time. Without defining your rules, contestants are the least of your worries. And you can’t just switch to a warmer climate so Megan Fox can be in a swim suit!

John: I’m not!

Me (slowly): You're sticking with Austria? Right?

John: Right. Yes. Okay.

Me: Okay. Then I'll leave you alone. It's fine.

John: No it’s not. You just gave me that look.

Me: Did not.

(George snorts.)

John: Yes, you did. You gave me THAT look.

Me: John, I most certainly do not have A look. Or THAT look. Or any particular look.

John: Yes, you do. See? George saw it.

George: Just put Megan Fox in a jumpsuit, John. She'll still look good.

John (pointing to me): See? THAT look right there!

05 January 2011

Conundrums before coffee make me very . . . whatever.

(As students enter the room, Mike notices two shopping bags sitting on a desk.)

Mike: Miss, what’s in the bags?

Me: Dunno. Ms. Smith just dropped them off, so I thought it would be rude and disrespectful to look through them.

Mike: I know. That’s what I thought. But you know how some of these kids are; they might see those bags and just be rude and disrespectful anyway. So I was just thinking to myself what to say to them in the event someone decided to be rude and disrespecful. I would hate to have to face a huge conundrum, especially first thing in the morning.

Me (distracted): Um, glad you're thinking, Mike. . . . uh, wait. What? I'm sorry, Mike. Conundrum?

Mike (sighing heavily): You know, Miss. A huge controversy or problem or issue. You know, if I had to teach someone not to be rude and disrespectful. Especially first thing in the morning.

Me: Wow, Mike. Conundrum? Wow.

Mike: What, Miss? You don’t like my vocabulary?

Me: Um, no, I do. I really do. It’s very . . . what’s the word?

Mike: Extensive?

Me: Yes. That, too.