Month: April 2015

On my eccentricities with supplies.

“Can I borrow some tape?”
“As long as you don’t break Oliver.”
“Oh my GOD, she named her tape dispenser.”
“I did. Olliver because he’s an otter, get it?”
“That’s so basic.”
“That’s so Miss V.”
“Those are synonyms.”

Photo Apr 30, 3 52 14 PM

(Olliver the Otter)

On human sacrifice.

<I pause after discussing the Scylla with my students, midway through Book 12 of The Odyssey.>
“Okay, so let’s move on-“
“Wait, Miss, I have an important question before we keep reading.”
“If you were captain of the ship, and you had to pick six people in this class to sacrifice to the dog-to-pus (yes, that was my word for the monster), who would you feed it?”
<Students yell out their assumptions while I smile calmly.>
“When you’re quiet, I’ll answer the question.”
<Immediate silence.>
“Well, first of all,┬álet’s just point out that Odysseus doesn’t get to pick which of his crew die. But assuming that he could, let me also remind you that we need to make sure to move quickly though the passageway, so I shouldn’t let it eat any of the more athletic kiddos, no matter my personal feelings on them. In addition, I wouldn’t pick any of the smallest students, because it would be able to swallow them whole and snatch another one up faster. So I need to pick medium-build, weaker ones, but obviously not my favorites, because, you know – I’m still a person.”
“You’ve thought about this. You know already, don’t you?”
<shrugging> “I’m not going to tell you, either way. Can we keep reading?”
“Yep. Go on. Human sacrifice isn’t as fun in real life as it is in the book. Let’s kill some make-believe guys.”

On misheard words

<explaining how milk goes from the animal to what we get in the store, in reference to what Polyphemus does in The Odyssey.>

“…of course, I drink skim milk, which has all the fat removed from it.”
“You drink milk made out of skin? People skin or cow skin?”
“SkiMMMMMMM, with an M.”
“Oh. That makes more sense.”

On what leggings are (and are not).

<I was explaining to a group of student leaders what they are allowed to wear on our field trip this weekend…>
“So, as long as you’re wearing pants or a skirt and no hat or shorts, we’ll be good.”
“Can we wear leggings?”
<Long pause.>
“Are leggings pants?”
“No. Leggings are not pants.”
“Then what are they?”
“Leggings. Leggings are leggings. They go under skirts and dresses, or on ballerinas, but should not be worn as actual pants any other time.”
“Wow. You just like, destroyed every pair of leggings’s dream.”
“Yeah, leggings can be whatever they want to be!”
“Leggings are leggings. They are not pants. Wear pants. Or a skirt with leggings under them.”
“Rules, man. Rules.”

On red herrings.

<We’re reading the end of our book, when my 4th period today starts losing it.>
“UM, Miss V…”
“Just a minute, we’re like a paragraph away.”
“But no, but-“
“OK, and I’ll get to them in a minute.”
<I turn and see a high schooler holding a small tower of diaper boxes and wipes.>
“Oh! Great!”
<Delivery child and I have a mini-conversation about who they’re from, where to put them, etc. while my class stays COMPLETELY silent.>
“Okay, so we left off at-“
“I’ll find it, just a minute-“
“Do you maybe have something to tell us?”
“Those diapers are not for me.”
“OH. Oh, good.”
“You scared us.”
“We were worried about you!”
“High-five, Miss, no babies!”

On what happens when a girl likes you.

<In trying to help my students recall what happened in our novel a week ago, pre-STAAR, I made a rather foolish error in questioning.>

“Okay, yes. They were washing dishes, and what did she give him?”
“Okay, what does a girl give a boy when she likes him and wants to see him again?”
“A kiss?”
“A selfie.”
“A hug!”
“A pat on the butt.”

<I was looking for ‘her phone number,’ by the way.>