Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Letters From The Front (But Don't Get Used To It)

I'm not writing about work very much, as you may have noticed. Things are...well, let's just say it's One Of Those Years. For a Variety Of Reasons. But when you teach at a huge (enrollment, 2000) urban high school, it's hard to overlook such a rich source of blog fodder.

Just a couple of pebbles from The Rock:

This, from a student essay: John Proctor's character has changed dramastically from Act I.

And another mystifying response, also describing John Proctor, the hero of The Crucible: One of his faults that will cause him problems later in the play is that he can't keep his mouth shut when he is speaking.

Add this to the Lame Excuses File:

Jessica: Mrs. D., I'm here to make up my two missing quizzes.
Mrs. D.: Jessica, those quizzes were given over two weeks ago. You're no longer eligible to make them up. Why have you waited until now? You have only two days after each quiz is given. That's standard make-up policy.
Jessica: But I just now got off my crutches!

And this, which was related to me by my buddy Teresa, who teaches Spanish:

Teresa: Okay, class, now that we all know our numbers in Spanish, we're going to learn how to tell time!
Student: What? Why?
Teresa: Because you need to be able to tell time in Spanish.
Student: No, I mean what do numbers got to do with tellin' the time? Numbers don't got nothin' to do with tellin' the time.

But it's not all Desperate. Creative Writing usually brings me back. Here's a nugget from one of my writers, who hit me with this observation the other day:

Gifted Writer: You know, if Irrelevance were money, the United States would be the richest country in the world.

I can think of at least 10 reality show "stars" alone to illustrate that theory.


  1. Ack! Gosh, I think being a HS teacher must be hard. Bless you. My daughter is one of the easy students, does her work and gets a little grumpy when she gets a B, that kind of thing. I'm thankful for her.

  2. I would laugh at them except several times this week (and it's only Tuesday), I've had moments that clearly demonstrated brain atrophy. I hate getting old. Hate it.

  3. Mikey G.11:30 AM

    I just got an e-mail from a student saying that she can't come to class today and was hoping it wouldn't affect her grade. She has literally missed half of the classes so far this quarter, she hasn't turned in most of the homework assignments, and she's failing with a 46%. No, this won't affect her grade; she'll still be failing miserably.

  4. Love The Gifted Writer wisdom! I have to wonder if he/she follows this wisdom and truly ignores the irrelevant just acting as an observer and noting the irrelevance and moving on. I have to admit that I find myself paying attention to irrelevant subjects more than I would care to admit. Hence, the television is off more these days.

    Thanks for the Craig Ferguson joke on the sidebar--love that and him!


  5. Here's a note I intercepted from one of my 4th graders: (punctuation has NOT been changed)

    "I like you a lot I almost love you. But I can't love you until you stop banging Deondra do you love me yes or no?"

    Not so much gifted, though her attempt to lie about what banging actually means was entertaining.

  6. ApLo--How quaint that they still pass notes. My kids just send text messages.

    Shirley--This kid probably does attempt to ignore much of the Irrelevance. He's not very "mainstream". And you're welcome for the CF quote. He's incredibly insightful, isn't he? (Or his writers are.)

    Mikey G.--So sad how oblivious they are at times, isn't it? I hope you didn't bother to respond to her. She doesn't bother much with your stuff, after all...!

    V-Grrrl--Sigh. I know. I've blamed my 'issues' on lack of brain activity in the summer, too much stressful brain activity during the school year, and whatever else I can think of. I have a ton of excuses. I refuse to blame it on aging. Vanity is a Powerful Force.

    J.@jj--Being a HS teacher used to be more fun. Now that we're Society's Whipping Boy, it just isn't any more. It's like being an abused child, holding our heads down, just hoping to stay out of the line of fire. Don't get me started.

  7. Nancy8:38 PM


    How can you blame High School kids for making mistakes like those you mentioned when for the past 10 years they have been forced to listen to these characters speak?

    "They misunderestimated me."
    George W. Bush November 6,2000

    Ground Zero Mosque supporters:
    "Doesn't it stab in your heart,as it does ours throughout the Heartland? Peaceful Muslims,pls
    refudiate." Sarah Palin
    July 18,2010

    I have deciphered a secret code proving Obama was creating an ..
    (here he moves to his chalk board and writes the word OLIGARHY)
    Glenn Beck
    Fox Network
    August 27,2009

  8. Nancy--Sigh. I know, I know.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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