Monday, March 21, 2011

Kickin' It

Stumbling into class on Monday, the 4th graders are usually pretty zonked from an intense weekend indoors filled with video games, cartoons, Hot Cheetos, and Coke. Due to their zombified nature, I try to get their brains unclogged with a weekend roundup of the class. Many of the students will still be half asleep as a girl lists the various activities (Truth or Dare, Youtubing Justin Bieber, Playing Guess Who?) she and her friends participated in on their Friday night sleepover, but today the author of "The Women that Drank Gasoline" got the attention of the entire class with his weekend rundown:

Boy: We had a soccer tournament in Stockton this weekend.
Me: Oh yeah? How'd you guys do?
Boy (In a quiet and hesitant voice): We kicked...butt.
I could barely hear him so I asked him to repeat what he said, but at that moment, his tangled facial expression showed me that he thought he had said something inappropriate. He scrambled to remedy his comment.
Me: Wait, what did you say?
Boy: We smacked ass?
Me: WHAT!?
Boy: We smacked ass!
Me: Dude, you can't say that.
Boy: Sorry.
The class giggled inquisitively, wondering why their classmate had chosen such bizarre verbage. I don't know where in his young mind he believed that "smacked ass" was a more acceptable response than "kicked butt", but at least he was generating synonyms...we've been working on that all year.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Women that Drank Gasoline

As most of us were probably used to growing up, my 4th graders have a set of spelling words that they are responsible to memorize throughout the week. For Thursday night's homework, I always assign them to use at least 10 of their spelling words while creating a short story. Many students orchestrate elaborate plots in order to successfully use words like: carpenter, banana, and library, within a 5 or 6 sentence paragraph. Others, haphazardly cram 10 spelling words into 2 sentences and sheepishly look at me for my acceptance or demand that they rewrite it during recess . This boy wrote one of the more memorable short stories of the year, and it revolves around gasoline:

Saturday, March 19, 2011


While reading a story with my 2nd grade ELL (English Language Learners) group, we came across the word "picnic". Many students hadn't heard the word before, so I asked for the help of a young lady to fill in the gap.

Girl: A picnic is when you get your whole family and you go to the park. You get a huge blanket and you put it down on the grass to sit on. Then you have a basket with lots of food and drinks. Next, you eat a sandwich. Once you're done eating your go fly a kite.

A kite, the dessert of any great picnic.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


One of my kids always knows what to say to throw any lesson off on a tangent.  While having a conversation with my 4th graders about the civil rights movement last month, we got onto the topic of sexism.

Me: You can't be discriminated because you are a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, just like someone can't discriminate against you because of the color of your skin.
Boy (Yells out): The Chinese are sexist, they kill little baby girls!
Caught off guard by the severity of his comment and also not wanting to get into a debate with a ten year old about the Chinese use of female infanticide...

          Me: So who has heard of Rosa Parks?


About a month ago, the urinal in our work bathroom went out of order. Too many robust streams destroyed the piping no doubt. They placed this bag over it to ensure that no man would use the stall again...however by the end of the first week the bag was completely filled with: noxious gas, the ghosts of past whizzes, urinal shame? The jury is still out. With no signs of being fixed anytime soon, I can look forward to seeing this bathroom balloon every morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Trenchcoat Blockia

This creep felt entitled to block a walkway at In-N-Out Burger with his backpack stuffed with Dungeons and Dragons guidebooks and 12-sided die.  As people stepped over his pack he would occasionally look over his shoulder to make sure that his belongings were not being stomped on by hungry mothers and their children. As you can see there was plenty of room in front of and beside him, but how can you possibly think of others when you're grubbing up on a Double Double?


Found this disgustingly charming tag on the sidewalk the other day. Sometimes shit can be sweet.