Life

On my comparative success.

<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?”

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On non-mistakes.

<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.”

On deciding their futures in the worst way.

“Hey Miss.”
<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┬ádid – 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.”
“Bet.”
<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…”

On Fbook personalities

<Today, to infuse some levity into my lesson on theme, I included a bonus warm up by asking them to identify the theme of Pastor Fred’s video.>

“That’s me. That’s me in 10 years.”
“10 years? That’s me tomorrow.”
“He know he right. He know.”

On returning compliments.

<Today, I told all my classes that I love them and they’re the reason I come to work. These are two of the responses I got.>

“Aw, thanks, Miss. You’re my favorite English teacher this year.”

“Nice. I’m’a go rate you on Yelp. 10 out of 10. Would recommend.”

On el presidente

<Teaching my English Speakers of Other Languages sophomore class today, we were trying to write a persuasive paper on why making decisions using bias and prejudice are unfair…>

“Right, so now that we know what bias and prejudice are, what do we call some of the people who DO make decisions on bias or prejudice?”
“TRUMP!”
“Okay, sure. Now what other titles do people call him BECAUSE he does this?”
“President?”
“What else?”
“Idiot.”

They did eventually get there, but I need to be a little more cautious, perhaps, with my English language learners…

On my royalty and outfits.

“Miss V— did your mother not let you pick your own outfits as a kid or something?”
“Not often. And she made me wear those like, footed stockings all the time?”
“That explains it.”
“Always the parents’ fault.”
“What, do you guys not like my outfit today?”
“It’s pink and purple and furry and sparkly and fluffy…”
“That’s why it’s awesome.”
“…right…”
“I like it. You look like a princess, Miss.”
“Thank you, I AM a princess.”
“She looks like a fairy princess.”
“Can you do magic, Miss?”
“Not so much.”
“You could magically change my grade to a 100 for the year, I bet.”
“No, that’s not really something I can do.”
“Can a fairy queen do that? Because, like, we can make that promotion happen.”
“Dude, I don’t know what fairy queens wear, and I’m not sure it’s worth a 100 to find out.”

On why I’m a role model.

<Former student interrupts me talking to another kid.>
“Excuse me-are you wearing Joe Biden and Obama earrings?”
<grinning> “Yes, yes I am.”
“See, this is why I want to be like you. You’re weird and you do ridiculous things and wear stuff that adults aren’t supposed to wear and like stuff that adults are supposed to think is stupid and you’re just like….what? This is me!”
“It’s the only way to go through life.”
<Walks off.>”Goals, Miss. Confidence goals. Person goals. Everything goals.”

And then I had an internal moment of feels.