09 February 2005

Happy 60th, Dad!

Me: (answering phone) Hi, I was just thinking about you.
Dad: (flattered, happy) Why?
Me: Um... two things, actually. One, I'm in the middle of Barack Obama's book, Dreams from My Father.
Dad: So, what made you think of me, the title?
Me: No, actually he's in Chicago doing community organization stuff in the early 80s, working with unions, but I don't think your time overlapped at all.
Dad: Well, that's nice.... what was the other thing? That you really miss my presence in your life? That you wish I was there to buy you pretty princess clocks? That you need some of my wisdom and advice?
Me: ...... actually, I was thinking about doing my taxes, and last year you helped me.
Dad: Oh. So really, you were longing for my guidance and wisdom.
Me: Right.

Adventures in Middle School


7th period.

Julie: Ms. Backes, my mom threw my notes in the fireplace and they burned up!
Me: Julie, I know your mother, and she is not the kind of person to throw your homework in the fire!
Julie: Well..... I told her to!

1st period.

Me: Patty, you look like Little Red Riding Hood with that basket of chocolate flowers!
Patty: Rafa was going to get all dressed up in a pretty blond wig and wear a little white skirt to sell them!
Lizzil: Ha ha, and he was going to skip around in little girl shoes!
Me: That's a great idea!
Patty & Lizzil: ...
Me: What?
Patty: Ms. Backes, no one wants to buy roses from a transvestite!



Aylea: Ms. Backes, would you like to buy a chocolate rose or a raffle--
Andrew: Or a nap?
Me: What?
Aylea: Or a raffle ticket? The roses are made of --
Andrew: Spain is the number one exporter of naps.
Aylea: ...made of two hershey kisses wrapped together --
Me: You can't export naps.
Aylea: ...they make a great gift --
Andrew: I read it in a book.
Aylea: ...a great gift, and you'll be helping --
Andrew: But I can't bring the book in because it has naked people in it. Naked senators.
Me: I read that book!
Aylea: ...it's a great gift --
Andrew: It's not school appropriate.
Me: Not really.
Aylea: ...and you'd be helping the --
Andrew: Anyway, that's where I learned that Spain exports naps.
Me: I don't remember that part.
Aylea: ...junior national honor society.
Andrew: It's true!
Me: Andrew, stop talking! Poor Aylea's trying to sell me a raffle ticket!
Andrew: I'm not talking. I'm just saying that you could buy a nap, but you'd have to buy it from Spain, because they export the most naps.
Me: But you can't really buy a nap!
Aylea: So . . . . . . .is that a yes?

2nd period.

Mr. K: What country shares its borders with the most other countries?
Karma: We say England!
Andrew: You do realize that England is an island, don't you?

1st period.

Mr. K: On a ranch, you have the right to shoot an endangered wolf if it's attacking your livestock.
Dale: So if I jumped on a cow and started biting it, could you shoot me?
Andrew: Yep! Gladly!
Lizzil: No... we'd just throw you in the crazy house!

Me: Andrew, why are you sitting alone? That's so sad!
Marsha: Because he's a social outcast! And no one wants to talk to him!
Andrew: Yes. I deserve to be alone!


Parent Teacher Conferences.

Me: La la la, I'm lonely and bored! When's dinner?
PA System: Attention teachers, there is pizza in the lounge!
Me: Whoo hoo!
Parent: (appearing in doorway) HI! Let's talk about everything I can think of including weird jokes about Van Gogh's ear and my old weimeraners who were fat!
Me: Nice nice nice nice..... great to meet you!
Parent: Okay....bye!
Me: Yes! Pizza!
PA: Staff, there is only ONE SLICE of pizza left!
New Parents: (appearing in doorway) Hi! What do you teach?
Me: Sigh! Nice nice nice nice nice nice (getting desperate) nice! Any questions? Great! (walking them to door) Great to meet you!
Parents: Okay....bye!
Me: Finally! Pizza!
PA: Staff, you'd better hurry!
Third Set of Parents, Ambushing Me in Hallway: Hi! Can we see you?
Guidance Counselor: I don't know, that pizza's running out....
Third Set of Parents: Pizza? Where? I could REALLY go for some pizza right now!
Guidance Counselor: Ha ha ha, it's only for teachers! But Ms. Backes, you'd better run or you won't get any!
Me: Aaaaaahhhh!!

Moral of the story: The best way to get parents to come for conferences is to offer free food to the teachers.

Parent Teacher Conference Lesson #97:
-- Dress nicely, so the parents will respect you as a professional.

Parent Teacher Conference Lesson #98:
-- Don't dress too nicely, or the creepy dads who don't get the concept of "personal space" won't leave your classroom, ever.

SIGH. SIGH! When your parents were dragging you off to PT conferences in middle and high school, did it ever cross your mind that your teachers might be full of both ennui and rage?

Not me. I think it was their seasonal accessorizing that always tricked me. If only I had a groundhog pin, where the little fella popped up when you pull on the string! Then no one would see through my carefully constructed facade!

(they look worriedly at one another. "I think this is it," he says. "I think she's really lost it now.")


Lizzil: Ms. Backes, I think you might be as weird as I am! No teacher has ever been as weird as me!



Marsha: (running in) It's RAINING!
Andrew: (walks in behind her with a beautiful drawing of an imaginary animal -- a fox-like creature with 5 tails -- rolled up in one hand)
Me: Oh no, did your doggy get wet?
Lizzil: WHAT?
Andrew: My drawing got wet in the rain.
Me: I just asked that.
Lizzil: No, you asked if his doggy got wet!!
Me: Yeah.... so?
Andrew: It did.
Lizzil: You called it his doggy! You're so weird, Ms. Backes!

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