25 January 2005


Finding a black-free outfit was almost embarassingly difficult. And now I look like I should be in an old navy catalogue, not at the front of the room sharpening my claws. In my mind, it's not an improvement.

Sixth period, the kids actually noticed and got all excited that I was only wearing browns, blues, and whites -- no black. Until one of them pointed out that the Talking Talons lanyard I keep my keys on has black on it. I ripped it off my belt and flung it across the room, which sent the entire class into hysterics. It was a good moment.


I don't know if I can handle team-teaching world geography, when even my team-teacher is almost offensively misinformed about so many things. For example: "You can't do ANYTHING in China! Even chewing gum is illegal there -- and you're guilty until proven innocent! Almost everything about China is backward." (While I'm speechless and clutching my heart in the back of the room, shocked. Speechless.)

And the kids are WAY worse. Am I going to feel like I'm having a heart attack every single morning for the rest of the year? Or will I eventually get over being personally injured by their staggering levels of cheerful ignorance and racism?

Luckily, I heard from another Grinnell alum who's dating one of TT's former students. She said, " I read my boyfriend the part of your plan about team-teaching geography and he started laughing so hard he almost cried, saying 'Yep, that sounds EXACTLY like Mr. K!'"

The boyfriend is okay, which gives me hope that TT's month-long unit entitled (and I may be paraphrasing slightly here) "I've been OBSESSED with aliens, specifically at Roswell, since I was a little kid, and now I'm going to do my damndest to convince you kids that ALIENS DID LAND IN ROSWELL IN 1947 before the month is over!" won't permanently scar too many of my students.



Me: I'm excited because the crazy-old-teacher-next-door and I are switching classes tomorrow!
Cam: Hmm.
Me: I hope he breaks their spirits!
Cam: You are a great teacher. There should be more teachers like you.
Me: Why is it that whenever I talk to you, I end up sounding so terrible? Like, oh I hope he crushes them, I hope they suffer!
Cam: I just bring out the best in you.
Me: Good thing I didn't stay in Iowa!
Cam: You would have been burning down schools by now.
Me: (laughing helplessly)
Cam: That's a nice cackle!

Me: My 6th period class has challenged me to not wear any black tomorrow. They say I wear black too much.
Cam: Maybe you should stop answering directly to Satan.
Me: Whoa! Baby steps, Cam, baby steps!



Lisa: (coming up behind me in the binders aisle of an office-supply store) Molly? ... Molly? ... Hey, Molly!
Me: What? Oh! I didn't see you!
Lisa: What movie is your head playing now?
Me: I feel like a bride planning her wedding!
Lisa: WHAT?
Me: Seriously. For me, thinking about binders is like thinking about marriage for other women. I dream of a magical future where all my problems are solved, and I have a whole bookshelf of binders, all neatly labeled, and in each one is the rough draft of a book **I've** written.
Lisa: That's weird.
Me: (dreamily) One day I'll have an office, just for me. And it will have bookshelves full of binders.....
Lisa: Well, when you get married, I'll give you a wedding binder, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Me: Who needs to get married when there's binders!


7th period.

Andy: His story is that he went to this laser tag place but this kid kept chasing him and so he hit him on the head with his gun!
Me: (teasing) You HIT a LITTLE KID? Jack!
Jack: (reasonably, with a shrug) It wasn't my fault. He kept kicking me repeatedly in the 'nads.

6th period.

New Girl: Ms. Backes, do you want a cookie?
Me: Um.... is it poisoned?
New Girl: No.
Me: Okay, thanks.
Angelique: She's only known you, like, a week! Why would she posion you?
Me: (knowingly) Oh.... what you're saying is that she'll want to poison me when she's known me a while.
Angelique: Right! I mean, no!

5th period.

Phillip: One embarassing story is that Brian pantsed me!
Brian: I went blind for ten seconds!!
Phillip: You looked at my butt!
Brian: It blinded me!

2nd period.

Me: ...so your assignment for the weekend is to come up with a thesis, based on the research you've already done, the quotes you've found, the aspects of this topic that interest you, and the arguments you think you can support with the evidence you have.
Dale: How long does it have to be?
Me: It's a thesis, just a thesis statement.
Class: ...
Dale: So.... uh....?
Me: Like a sentence or two.
Dale: Great! I'll do it in advisory on Monday!
Me: Hold up. Let me make something perfectly clear: this is the organizing element of a paper you'll be working on for a while. You need to put some thought into it.
Lizzil: Yeah... but still, it's only a sentence.
Me: Let me restate -- if it sucks, I'll make you re-do it.
Class: (whisper whisper)
Jax: Can you SAY that?
Me: I just did. Thus, I can say it.
Jax: I mean -- you just said sucks!!

No comments: