Tuesday, June 07, 2011

War Is Hell...Wait, I Feel Like Someone Already Said That (Even Though He Wasn't In Public Education. Does It Still Count?)

In what can only be termed a Hostage Crisis Of Horrific Proportions, I AM STILL IN SCHOOL.  Certainly, this is a massive and terrible breach of the Geneva Convention (specifically, the third), and I feel much put-upon, at the very least.  Why am I being punished this way?  What have I done to deserve this?


Today, the following scene occurred in my room as I manned the SmartBoard and staunchly explicated the infinitive phrase to a roomful of long-suffering sophomore honors students who are just as strung-out on this Marathon School Year as I am.

Mrs. D.:  Okay, so!  That's the last of the verbal phrases.  Go grab the green book and let's---
Selena:  (sassy Latina girl, interrupts)  Miss D.!  How much more grammar? 
Mrs. D.:  (pointedly, in an attempt to clarify) What kind of question is that, Selena?  Can you be more specific?  Can you, say, add a verb?
Selena:  (pauses, thinks, tries again) I mean, will we be taking more notes tomorrow?
Mrs. D.:  Yes.  We have one more phrase to cover, the appositive.  It's not a verbal, but it completes our study of phrases.  Then that's it.  As far as grammar next year, I'm not sure how much you do in junior honors, but--
Selena:  (interrupts) We didn't do no grammar last year in Miss Addison's class!
Mrs. D.:  That's any grammar.  You didn't do any grammar.
Selena:  (resolutely nods head) That's how you know!

And, just for fun, here are some more student vocabulary sentences.  These come from my colleague Melanie, who teaches junior regs:

By you blasting that music, you are disquieting.
When I wrestled, I had two gain ten ponds, but I went over, so I was offset.
My shirt was susceptible when I tried it on.
It was hard for the slaves to inevitable for what they were going through.
Small animals are inhabitable in the woods.

Send help. And hurry.


  1. Really? A whole 'nother week? My daughter is taking her finals this week, and I thought her school was going late.

    I like Selena. I mean, I like that she nodded her head and admitted her faults. There may be hope for her. :)

  2. I wish I had help to send! I must note, however, that William Tecumseh Sherman, whom you quote, was an educator of sorts. He was the first superintendent of Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy, which later became Louisiana State University. He served in that capacity for more than a year, but he resigned when Louisiana seceded from the Union. On that note, I wish I had a dollar for every time a student, friend, colleague, person on television, etc., etc., says "succeed" rather than "secede" or "succession" rather than "secession." We all have our battles to fight, indeed we do!

  3. Oh, I feel you! I'm still trying to inspire 8th graders to love science, or at least tolerate it for one. more. week. And I'm going to punch the first smartass who tells me how lucky I am to have the "whole summer" off.

  4. I like Selena too :)

    What I want to know, is how much do you have to pay to inhabit a small animal? Can you buy them, or are they just for rent?

  5. Mikey G.3:52 AM

    My one part-time job ended two weeks ago, but the other one still has two weeks to go. Then I'll have my first summer off in three years. I CAN'T WAIT!

  6. Mikey--And I can't wait to hear what adventures you go on. I'm sure you have something exciting and wonderful planned already.

    The Bug--What I want to know is, what exactly is that student's idea of "small"?

    Rose--I served time in the 8th grade for one year. You have my admiration and my sympathy. Bless you. And do NOT get me started on the whole "summer off" diatribe. Seriously. Morons.

    Carolina Linthead--I will defer to you on all things Historical, dear Professor. Sherman is such an interesting character, and so complex. I had no idea about his forays into education! Thank you for that. Please accept my sympathies regarding your painful exposure to the linguistic lapses you described. Urg.

    J@jj--Oh, I adore Selena. She is such a tiny spitfire. She attacks everything I give her in English, and she also listens to my Love Life Advice. Her latest plan is to stop selling herself short by getting involved with all these gangster types. She's smart and cute and going places. I have confidence in her.

  7. I am sure my high school freshman has caused his English teacher to want to run her car in a closed garage. He is gifted but insists grammar doesn't make sense to him. He is a whiz at math. I tell him that grammar is like a math equation, computer program, or geometry proof: if you don't put the elements in the right order, it doesn't work. Unfortunately, he resists my logic and writes run-on sentences and cannot identify the parts of speech. Trust me, I know this is not his teacher's fault.

  8. Mikey G.1:51 AM

    You'll be getting phone calls from abroad. In July. Just make sure to answer the phone if you see any weird international numbers. I will, of course, make sure to call at a reasonable hour in your timezone.

    And you'll probably be getting a phone call or two in the next two weeks, but that'll be from California. Nothing crazy - just a road trip to a few national parks.

  9. Did you say something about vacation? :)

  10. Mage--I love how your pic is waving at me! No, I didn't say anything about vacation...YET. I dare not even breathe the word aloud. Seems eons away at this point. (Don't talk about it, but our room is already engaged at our Favourite Little Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake in July, and we are mulling which play to see at the Shaw Festival. Shhhh!)

    Mikey G.--Sigh. Of course I will. I'd remind you how small I am and that I can curl up in a piece of luggage, but I hear that the cargo holds in airplanes are very cold, so forget it. I had my space heater on in school last week as they fiddled around with the geothermal again. 67 degrees is too cold for anyone, and I don't care what people say.

    V--You know, I simply love teaching grammar. I could do an entire year of nothing but grammar. And my students' grades go sky-high when we do grammar units. It does usually appeal to the more math-science oriented kids, you're right, but some kids just can't swing the concepts over into their writing. No transfer of skills. Keep trying, and keep him reading. That helps.

  11. And I am inhabitable in Room 215. For the next 7 school days, at any rate.

  12. Hoping that you'll manage to go forward in some functional, trance-like state and emerge "whole" on the other side. I like the sounds of your "secret" plans. ;-)


  13. Are you done yet???!! Oh Nanc-e, oh Nanc-e...can you come out and play??
    It's summer and it's time. Don't make me come up there and pull you out of the classroom :>)

  14. dbso--I would accuse you of Cruelty if I didn't know you were coming from a Kind Place in your way. Sigh. I still have four days the week of 6-13. So painful. SO painful. 'Twould not take much to pull me out. Not much at all.

    Shirley GFE--My Clandestine Vacance is all that keeps me sane at present. So nice to see you here!

    Melissa B.--You and I are in the same Dire Peril, it seems. We can compare halo sizes sometime.

  15. Did I give you the password to my blog? Let me know!

  16. aplo--no, ma'am! and i emailed you and everything to check up on you. i was starting to worry that we'd had a falling out that i was completely unaware of!

  17. I have tried on some extremely susceptible skirts which did not offset the disquieting ten 'ponds' that had taken up residence on my hips and made much of my wardrobe rather less inhabitable than before the ponds arrived.

    That school bus looks familiar. So does the driver.

    Hang in there, Nance. And don't forget that respite is never any farther away than the cupboard with the martini glass. (Too bad schools don't stock gin next to the copier machine; it wouldn't work any better, but at least you wouldn't give a damn.)

  18. Ortizzle--Because of the susceptible clothing choices of so many of the students, a new "business casual" dress code was adopted for next school year. I predict that the inevitable discipline problems will offset any positive effects, resulting in ponds of alcohol consumption by the staff.

    And, just for the record, I drink vodka. LOL!

  19. Dear Nance.

    When you are finished with that bus ,would you consider giving it to us? We could use it. Our kids don't have luxurious buses like that one...

    Thank you.

    The Philadelphia School District

  20. Nancy--Only if you take the driver, too. It is a package deal.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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