I haven’t written here in a while. A few months ago, I wrote and posted a blog about my disdain for broccoli and included what I thought were cute pictures of broccoli being a dick. Next thing I know, people are viewing my blog in obscene numbers (note – not that many, but more than usual). I’ve really let that get to my head though, thus the reason for not writing. I DON’T NEED TO POST. I HAVE PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR BROCCOLI PICTURES ON GOOGLE.
(Seriously, google image “broccoli” and you’ll see the cartoon picture I used that links to my blog. Hellllooo copyright infringement!)
I haven’t written about work in an even longer time. I realize that this was stupid, because work is a gold mine for writing.
The second year is very different from the first year. That much I can tell you. Students listen more and generally do what they’re asked. The fact that there are several other first year teachers in the building also helps. Suddenly I’m one of the more senior teachers on staff. In my second year of teaching. Ever.
With the second year comes more willingness from me to answer questions from students about life in general. Though they might have an average grade reading level of around 6th grade, they are pretty damn curious about life. And some of them ask pretty profound questions that give me pause.
On election day a few weeks ago, Mississippi had on the ballot Prop 26 that, if it would have passed, would have created a state law that said every fetus/embryo is life and therefore can’t be terminated. “What Roe v. Wade? What women’s rights? HA! I’m a man and all that matters is what I say is best for you. HA!” – The State of Mississippi.
Anyway, a student who generally asks thought provoking questions (typical for this student. Very bright and inquisitive, just not at the right time. For example, while teaching modifiers, he asks out of the blue: “What if there was just not money anymore?”) one day brought up this little nugget because of Prop 26: “So, if I masturbated, would that be illegal?”
I wasn’t sure how to respond, because he wasn’t doing it to get a laugh out of the class. This was a genuine-I’m-dead-serious question. HOW do you respond to that?! YES! Totally illegal! Or, NO! (I ended up telling him that it was a good question. GREAT question.).
Day in, day out I am able to bear witness to these million dollar questions. I have taken to writing down some of the things that students say and here’s what happened just TODAY.
Exhibit A: We had some snow fall yesterday (very nominal though and was only on the grass until about noon). A student didn’t come to school that day and I walked by her desk and asked: Why weren’t you here yesterday?
She looks up at me and says, very seriously and not ironically: “There was snow on the ground.”
Exhibit B: We were watching this video of a cheetah running after and subsequently catching an antelope (long story) and a student asks: “Is that cheetah gonna eat it?”
I made some remark about the cheetah keeping it as a pet and then said of course it was going to eat it.
Student: “Well, I didn’t know. I thought they ate dog food.”
She was dead. Serious.
I also had a student on Monday, after Thanksgiving break, inform me that, unfortunately, she couldn’t take that trip to Yemen because she was told before she left she had to work. Bummer, kid. Should’ve put in for that time off earlier.
Most of the time these kids say things that are unintentionally funny. You could say “you shouldn’t laugh at that!” but if you are one of those, then you just can’t see the humor in it. And you’re hating on the thing I love the most about teaching.