“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”

We (as in my students and I) have been learning about the 13 British colonies and the road to revolution. Yesterday, we read about the Stamp, Tea, Sugar, and Quartering Acts. “No taxation without representation”, yo.

A colleague suggested playing a game that would entail taxing our students for certain things, like using a piece of paper, eating an apple, borrowing a pencil, etc. Each tax would fall under the acts they learned about: Stamp: “Pay me for that paper and the holes on the LEFT for the umpteenth time!”; Tea: “You want a drink of water? Pay up!”; Sugar: “Do you really think you need to eat graham crackers right after lunch? Well, then you are gonna pay.”; Quartering: “You wanna move to see the process grid? Well, it’s gonna cost.”

Can you already tell that this was way too much fun for me? Oh, it gets way better.

*evil laugh*

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Flashback Frightday

Yesterday, I shared some old pictures of when I went to Washington D.C. in the 8th grade with my students. Among the images of famous landmarks and monuments, were a couple pictures of me. I was not prepared for their responses to my awkward 13-year-old self. I mean, I knew I had some serious Mom jean action going on, but damn, kids can be brutally…honest. 

Some of their responses/reactions:

1. Open-mouthed shock 

2. “Why are your jeans so tight at the bottom, but baggy?”

3. Snickering 

4. Why is your hair so pouffy? 

5. Which one is you? 

6. “Your face isn’t red like that anymore. Good job, Ms. P.!”

7. Why are you matching? 

8. Whispering

9. “Why do your eyebrows look so different?”

10. “Are you missing teeth?”

Jerks. Wow. Payback will be in the form of zit-covered-too-big-for-their-face-teeth-adolescence. Don’t say you weren’t warned, little darlings. 

Is it really that bad? Yeah, yeah it is. Woof.

He’s Made of Ceramic, Guys

My students have really taken to our class “pet”, Messy. So much so, that I’m wondering now if they even know he’s not a real dog. I sincerely hope they aren’t waiting for him to finally “wake” up and start kissing their faces. 

One of my top achieving students came up to me, quietly, and asked, “Ms. P., does Messy just sleep all day?” 

I didn’t want to kill the magic so, I said, “Maybe he is the first ever nocturnal Bull Dog? No, not really. Also, puppies are like babies, they need a lot of sleep.” She has a baby sister, so she seemed satisfied with the answer. 

Then, then, I overheard one of my students lament to another student, “Messy is way lazier than my dog at home. I wonder when he will want to play?” 

WHAT THE? 

One more…one of the teacher’s students next door came up to her yesterday, and said, “Ms. S., did you know Ms. P has a dog in her room?! Do you think I should go remind her to feed it?” 

Someone please tell me my students know that an immobile-stuck-in-the-same-position-CERAMIC dog is fake. 

Please tell me they are just consciously participating in the make believe that innocent children’s lives revolve around, because if I have to have the tough conversation that Messy is not alive, it will be the first of its kind. 

They absolutely adore him. They race each other to get to the carpet first, so they can sit by him. They sit with him in their laps, happily stroking his “fur”. They asked me what he was going to be for Halloween. 

I am confident that my students are playing make believe. This makes me so happy, because in a world where children grow up too fast, where 1st graders are dropping the “F” bomb, and where 8 year-olds have cellphones, Messy makes me believe there is hope. For now, my students are still children, with innocent imaginations, and that makes me so happy. 

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I’ve had my new-to-me car for less than a month and it’s already been been violated in a most horrific way. 

The other morning, after a stress-filled drive to school, whereby I agonized over where best to park, I sat trying to calm my nerves. Actually every morning that I get to school, I just sit for awhile, pondering life (ie: checking all of my social media, promising myself I’ll get out after just one more song, and savoring my coffee-my life blood). 

I feel, before I go on, I should explain why I spent my entire drive agonizing over where to park. Simply put, I work in da hood. It’s not all bad. Just like nice neighborhoods aren’t all good. However, I’ve heard one too many stories about teacher’s cars being keyed, shootings, and our school has already been vandalized and broken into-numerous times. 

I love my school, my students, and our community, but it’s not exactly Mayberry. Not even close. 

Well, there I sat, watching a video on how to make hash brown egg cups on Facebook, and my car starts shaking. Like serious, “don’t come a’knocking shaking”. It’s not every day that you get your own personal earthquake or theme park ride, so it took a minute to get my bearings. When I realize my new car, with me in it, isn’t about to be swallowed by a sink hole, I look into my rearview mirror to see a head-barely visible over my back end. 

I get out and see some kid shaking my car. He’s literally bumping up against it like a remote control car stuck in a corner. I’m so pissed, all I say is, “GET OUTTA HERE” *insert Brooklyn accent*. This hoodlum didn’t realize the car was inhabited, so I’m sure he was shitting his pants as he ran out of sight. 

After telling this story to numerous people-fellow colleagues, my boyfriend, my family-they all had the same questions for me, “Why didn’t you question him, demand his name, drag him to the office?”

Let me just list the reasons why: 

  1. It was 7:00 AM-our office was empty
  2. He was a middle school kid-not under my/our particular authority
  3. I am scared of retaliation 

This misguided young man was likely trying to make my car alarm go off, to what end-it could be various reasons. Maybe he just thought it would be fun. Maybe he looks for cars that aren’t alarmed for someone who steals them. Maybe he simply has no regard or respect for others and their belongings. Actually, that last hypothesis would apply to all possible reasons he felt the need to molest my car. 

I would be laughing about this (the look on his face was pretty awesome), but I’m actually fearful that my new car will be damaged while parked at my place of employment. That’s a pretty shitty feeling.

In fact, everyday I notice possible new scratches and dings. I can’t blame them all on immoral creeps, as its definitely possible they were there before I bought the car. I didn’t inspect every inch of it with a magnifying glass, but I did look for noticeable imperfections. I’m 99% sure this was not present upon buying my car 

  
We live in a world where so few people have respect for others. It’s my fear that good, moral, thoughtful people will soon be extinct. 

Kids can be shits, I get it. I once stuck a thumbtack in my preschool teacher’s bum, simply because it was right in my face as she bent over, I was rolling a tack between my thumb and pointer finger, and I was a scientist-I wanted to know what would happen (BIG trouble, is what happened). 

While I’ve been guilty of my fair share of wrong-doing, I can confidently say I’ve never had the urge to damage someone else’s property. Never. Not once. 

Instead of be pissed/upset/stressed about this disgusting lack of regard for MY property, I am going to simply regard my car as a useful mode of transportation that gets me from point A to point B. Instead of daydreaming about how pretty she is, I’ll instead remember what is really important in life: my family, my friends, my health, and my strong morals and values. Also, a car is simply a material object that I am lucky to have. Some people don’t even own shoes. First world problems, and all that. 

While I suffer the results of lack of guidance and respect, I will continue to guide and teach respect to my students, because what else can I do? I am honored to be in the position where I have the possibility to change someone’s life for the better, every single day. Key my car, go for it. I’ll just be over here continuing to teach your children to do better, be better. Win. 

OH MY

We all know kids say the darnedest things. I mean, they made a show simply on the premise that some kid was guaranteed to say something genius. You also know kids say some pretty ridiculous things if you have a kid, have internet access, or you live on this planet. 

Not only do kids say some hilarious shit, they also write and draw some interesting things. The collection I have of laugh-out-loud worthy masterpieces is immense. 

What makes kids so funny is their blatant honesty about their observations, how seriously they take serious topics, and their innocence. It isn’t funny if a grown man draws a pair of DDD’s on a picture of their mom, but when a kid does it, they are just being accurate (or not…in that case, I can’t help you). Their honesty and innocence makes their art HILARIOUS. Hilarious. 

Let me just put this here for you:

  
  
You are free to come to your own conclusions about what you think this child drew. What I saw, what made me spew my mouthful of coffee all over my desk was, well, a TALLYWHACKER and some DINGLEBERRIES. I couldn’t even. 

  
These are apples on pants.

  
This child obviously thought apples on pants was a ridiculous notion and changed ‘pants’ to ‘plants’. That is a MUCH safer scenario. 

If you don’t find humor in these things, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry in your vodka, and no one wants that. 

Class Pet

Since my last post was a rant, I thought I would start my (and your) Monday off on a positive note. I’ve been dying to share our class “pet” with all of my readers. 

So, before I get into how our class “pet” came to be, I have to share how comical my mother is. She knows (along with anyone else who knows me) that I’ve been wanting a dog of my own. At the ripe-old-age of 32, I finally feel grown up enough to take care of another living being. Only problem? Our landlord is strictly against pets. Moving is expensive, so the dream continues. 

Well, on to my mom…she bought me a ceramic bull dog and said he could be my makeshift pet. She even said I could name him, buy him a bed, the whole shamoly. HAR HAR. 

So, I thought it would be a great idea to take him to my classroom to serve as a class pet. I was apprehensive as you never know how 3rd graders will react. One day they’re innocent little darlings who (gratefully) don’t think it’s gross to learn that mammals nurse their babies (boobs, GROSS). Yet, the next day they are too cool for school and you catch them dropping the F Bomb. It’s a crapshoot. 

Well, they love him. They named him Messy and they fight over who gets to sit by him.

My mom comes in to volunteer and they were so excited to show her their new pet. My mom, who was humoring them, said, “Well, I bet he’s a really good boy, since he just sleeps all the time”. 

One boy responds, “He’s just pretending, Grandma Judy!

They are still sweet babies. Praise the Lord!  

 

Children are Amusing

I thought I would get in a quick blog post, and I knew I had some pretty good material courtesy of my hilarious 3rd graders. The beauty of children is that they are funny, without having to try to be funny. They are at their most amusing when they are not even trying to be funny or cute, usually when they are being innocently, adorably, dead serious. These are actual lines said/written by very serious 3rd graders who mean business:

Teacher, my hair smells like mustard.

I am late because I had to poop.

It wasn’t me, I take farts outside.

I can’t move right now, I am like a turtle on it’s back.

Maybe he wrote different perspectives because the narrator wanted to, so the author said ‘yes’?

God is #1, you are #2.

You will achieve all your dreams and eat s’mores.

Just a few Wednesday funnies for my readers. Enjoy.