10 February 2006


Today's teaching story:

SO... I keep a student desk outside my classroom door for the kids who are unruly and/or who are freaking out and need a break. Because it is so often the naughty babies who sit at this desk, over the years it has acquired a lovely and deep carved message to the world: FUCK
Which is so awesome, because every single person who visits my room first sees a desk with such a warm and welcoming message. I have tried everything when it comes to this desk. I have soaked it in 409 over night, hoping that the entrenched ink and pencil lead would come out. I have sat at the desk myself, scratching sideways with a knife across the letters. But no matter what I do with the desk, the message of F U C K always comes back.

Last week, I took a big black sharpie and drew over the letters. I turned the F into a B, the u and c into o and o, and left the k... then I added an S, and above it, I wrote "I [heart]" -- so now, instead of F U C K, my desk says "I LOVE BOOKS!" It makes me laugh every time I see it.


Dickie: Ms. Backes, do you know that chocolate has the same effect on people as marijuana?
Me: No it doesn't.
Dickie: Yes, Ms. Backes, scientific studies have shown....
Me: No, it really doesn't.
Dickie: Chocolate and marijuana are basically the same, Ms. Backes.
Me: Dickie? Really? They're not.


Jose: Ms. Backes, you can tell you're a mom.
Me: Umm...
Javon: You idiot, she doesn't have any kids!
Reynaldo: But you're pregnant, right?
Me: Um, no.
Javon: Reynaldo, you IDIOT! You don't tell a girl she looks like she's pregnant, or she'll hit you!
Reynaldo: Don't hit me, Ms. Backes!
Me: ANYway, back to work!


Dominic: Ms. BAAA-ckes! Jessie stole my heart!
Me: Well, Dominic, that's very romantic, but I need you to be working right now.
Dominic: No, wait -- I mean --
Class: Ha ha, Dominic loves Jessie!
Dominic: I mean, she took my heart and ran away with it!
Me: Yes, very sweet, Dom. Get to work.
Dominic: Oh, MAN!


Courtney: Ms. Backes, can I see your engagement ring?
Me: Sorry. I don't have one.
Cortnee: Awwww, Anderson!!
Courtney: Anderson -- Melissa Anderson -- told us that you had a HUGE engagement ring!
Cortnee: She doesn't have one, Anderson!!
Courtney: Anderson, you're wrong!
Cortnee: She's not even engaged, Anderson!!!


Dan: Ms. Backes, he hit me!
George: Ms. Backes, he touched my book!
Other Kids: Ms. Backes, Ms. Backes!!
Me: Okay you guys! Chill!
Dan: But Ms. Baaaaaaa-aaaaackes!!
Me: Oh my god, I am NEVER having children!
Haley: What? But you're not even married.
George: Are you married Ms. Backes?
Me: No.
Dan: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Yes.
Haley: YOU have a BOYFRIEND??????????
Me: (dryly) try not to sound so surprised.
Haley: You must be a lot more exciting outside of school.


Best Valentine's Present (so far):

A small, round, beautifully wrapped pink-tissue-paper-with-purple-ribbon gift. What could it be? A candle? Chocolate?

"Oh no, Ms. Backes. It's a tennis ball. For your dog."

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