<I open an email.> “Ooooooooooh! How sweet!” “What is it, Miss?” “Yeah, boy or girl?” “Oh, no, it’s not a baby, it’s pan dulce.”
<I drag the email over so they can see.> “You made the noise people make for babies…because you saw a picture of pan dulce.” “Yes.” “Miss, come on, what’s wrong with you?”
<All at once, in response to the student:> “SHE LOVES FOOD, OKAY? THAT’S WHY WE LOVE HER.” “Bro, you can’t even be surprised anymore.” “I don’t know you.” “You do you, Miss, you do you.
“Thank you for your support.”
Image credit: Eric E. Castro @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecastro/5164162429
Without giving too much detail that would reveal a little much about who and where I teach, I’d like to offer a bit of an explanation for why I’ve been so silent for the past few months.
First, it was because I was feeling frustrated and negative after some choices about my position at work were taken out of my control. The impending changes to my job were making me resistant to seeing the good that might come (still waiting on that, for the most part).
In addition, our school has been inundated with tragedy for the past few months. Laughing didn’t happen very often, and when it did, it almost felt wrong. The tragedies continue to pile up, but as I told my juniors this week, part of surviving the world we now live in is being able to find the good amongst the bad. Being able to recognize what brings us joy in the midst of sadness.
We all need some positivity in this life, regardless of how happy we are or if everything is following the plan that we’ve laid out for ourselves. And so, I’m going to resume my blog, and hope that it brings me the happiness that I need.
<This week, one of my best friends is in town. Last week, I was discussing the impending visit with a student of mine when this discussion happened.> “So, who’s coming to visit?” “One of my best friends.” “You got more than one?” “Yes, the one who’s coming to visit is a doctor in Baltimore, and then my other one lives in New York and works for Rolling Stone.”
<pause> “Miss, do you just like, feel bad about yourself all the time?”
<Today, we had no internet. Which means the kids who usually zone out on their phones were instead running their mouths like crazy. I decided to make the most of this.> “Y’all…y’all…baby children…<finally yelling> GUYS!”
<Most students quiet down.> “Okay, look, fam, this isn’t going to work. I can’t yell all day. So, let’s try a new thing. Y’all know how some elementary teachers have like a thing, where they go, ‘Reeeed Robin’ and all the kids answer ‘Yuuummmmm?’ “ “Miiiiss, nooooooo.” “Yes, this is where we’re at. But as I was driving to work this morning, I made myself a promise. So let’s see if you can finish our attention getter without me explaining.” <I clear my throat.> <Clap.> “Sit down!” <Clap clap.> Half the class: “BE HUMBLLLLEEEEE!” “Yeah, that’s a thing we’re doing now.”
For adults who don’t listen to Kendrick, see below:
<Students discussing the end of The Rest of Us Just Live Here in class.> “Who turns down a healing?” “I kind of get it, but I would take him up on it.” “That boy- he needs to whip out the warm oils, turn on some smooth jazz, and tell his friends to heat them hands up and get their glowy selves on me.” “Y’all are gonna kiiiiiill me.” “Nah, I got Jared on speed dial. You ain’t gon’ die.”
<I threaten to call one of my favorite students’ moms because he won’t stop bouncing ON (not in) his chair.>
“Man, Miss, don’t! I’ll calm down. I already got sent to the SRO today.” “WHAT?”
“Stuff happened. I don’t know. It’s fine now, let’s not go there.” “I get it, mistakes were made…”
“Nah, it wasn’t a mistake, I definitely meant to do it.”
<Student walks up to me in the hall and hands me a note.>
It reads: My dad like the new tree you planted in your front yard and he wants you to email him the name of it. He’s so weird. Don’t tell me, he’s so embarrassing, just email him so he doesn’t like, call you in class. “That’s not weird, it’s a really cool tree.”
“Miss, just email him. I don’t want to talk about it.” “DO YOU NOT LIKE MY TREE?”
“See, I TOLD him you were gonna get weird about it!” “Why aren’t you answering me? My tree isn’t good enough for you?”
“Yes, yes, it’s good enough, what’s it called?” “A golden rain tree.”
“Why you won’t tell me the truth now?” “I did – look it up.”
“If I look this up, and it’s not a tree, you have to give me a free 100.” “Okay, but if you look it up and it IS a tree, and it’s MY tree, then you have to become an arborist so you never make this mistake again.”
<Looks it up.>
“MAN, MISS! I don’t even know what an arborist is! Do they like, work on arms or boards?” “Trees.”
“Oh.” <pause> “I’ve got to stop making bets with you…”