26 August 2005

Famous (last?) words....

Hilarious teaching moment of the day, so far: Homework last night was to find at least ten quotations that inspire, interest, amuse, or enlighten you, and write them in your writer's notebook. My seventh graders did an awesome job of it, bringing in quotations from JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., & Shakespeare. My 8th graders mostly brought in commercials and slogans. (My quotation is "I'm lovin' it.")

In class today, everyone had to pick their favorite quotation to write on a card for our Inspiration Wall. The sweetest little girl in the whole 8th grade -- you know the one, the horse-loving heart-doodling soft-spoken sweetheart -- called me over and showed me her card. "Is this okay?" she asked, holding up a card that said Life is like a vacuum; it sucks.

"Ah.... no," I said, "these are going in the hallway. Keep it positive, please."

"Oh, okay!" she said agreeably.

Six or seven minutes later, I was standing at my podium and she held up her new card to me. "Is this better?" she asked. The card said simply, CARPET-MUNCHER

Okay, needless to say, I freaked out. "No!" I said, laughing and horrified. "Rip that up and throw it away right now! I'm so shocked by you!"

The little girl's eyes widened. "What? Why?"

Teasingly, I yelled, "That's so bad, Amanda! I'm traumatized! You used to be so sweet!"

"I don't even know what it means!" she said. "My brother just says it all the time!"

"It's really bad," I said.

"What did she write? What did she write?" the other kids yelled.

"Nothing!" I said. "Throw it away!"

Sweet little horse-loving Amanda asked, "What does it mean?"

"I can't tell you!" I said. "I'll lose my job! You'll go home and be all, 'My English teacher taught me this bad word today!'"

But by then, the whole class had picked it up. "What does it mean, Ms. B? Tell us, tell us!"

"I'm not telling you NOTHIN!" I said. "The horror! And you kids used to be so nice!!"

The whole thing was hilarious. I'm still laughing. Okay, but here's the worst part: I did kind of start it. Because when I was going around checking everyone's quotes, one girl (the horse-lover's best friend) had a quote that said, "What's the dilio?" which I read as WHERE'S THE DILDO? So I proceeded to freak out about that and accuse her of being all dirty when actually the problem is that I can't read.

I am the best teacher ever.

My students are going to be so, so fucked up by the year's end.

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