Monday, April 25, 2011


A strong breeze whipped through the playground this afternoon, making me wish I had thrown on my yellow hoodie before going out. As a result, my hands stayed warmly housed in my the front pockets and my shoulders arched up towards my neck like a geriatric turtle. One fourth grade boy didn't seem to be as bothered by the cold, since he was wearing a tight white sleeveless t-shirt. His slender arms were covered in goosebumps, but it was a small price to pay when all the babes were checking out your guns.

Me: What's up Muscles?
Boy: Hey Mr. Mac (as he looks down admiringly at his biceps).
Me: Have you been working out?
Boy: (still staring at his muscles) Yeah...I've been using a shake weight.

My mouth dropped with this response, it was the most amazing thing I had heard all day. Not only WAS he working out, but he exuded such extreme confidence in his response, as if to say "Hells yes, you could look like me if you had the discipline." I had to stoke this fire of self-assurance.
Me: Looking strong dude, keep it up.
 Muscles: Thanks.
Note: Not actual student, but what I imagine he might look like while working out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I was talking to my third graders about my recent trip to Coachella Music Festival over spring break and the kids had tons of questions...and not just about my trip.

Did your mom go with you?
Why is your skin peeling?
I got sunburned.
That bump on your throat creeps me out.
Every guy gets one...look forward to looking as creepy as me when yours grows in a few years.

My favorite exchange went to the boy who has a habit of producing politically incorrect statements.

Boy: Did you meet any Japan people there?
Me: Yes, I met a few Japanese people, but not many.
Boy: Were they bad guys with lots of guns like in Black Ops?
Me: No guns allowed, just glowsticks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Alcohol and drugs seem to spark the truth and openness that many of us have been taught to subdue as we grow up. The kids that I work with however have these skills sober, and have not yet been beaten down by the social censor. One of my third graders reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age (hell, he reminds me of how I am now!).  He has me busting up every class with his wild imagination and accompanying dramatic performances.  Aside from his humor, his honesty is something I admire as he will be the first to tell me when I need a haircut, look like I haven't slept, or have snot dangling from my nose.  After school today he came up and shared this story with me while I was on yard duty.

Boy: Mr. Mac, do you ever wake up and your eyelashes are all stuck together? Well, that's what happened to me today. I couldn't even open my eyes in the bathroom. Then I peed all over my pants and all on the floor. My dad made me clean it up. Gotta go, bye!
Me: Bye!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oil Re-serves

The apocalypse apparently IS on its way, because we've had multiple fire, natural gas explosion, and earthquake drills over the last month. As the fire alarm wailed Monday afternoon, I lead my fourth graders out to the safety of the grass as a few first graders ran next to me mimicking being blanketed in flames. While we waited in a single file line to be dismissed, two of my sweeter and more caring students decided to cash in some karmic points.
 Girl 1: Mr. Mac, are you hot?
 Me: No, why?
 Girl 2: Why would you ask that? Obviously he's sweating.
 Me (As I wipe my brow): That's not sweat, my forehead just gets oily.
 Girl 1: How do you get oil on your forehead?
 Me: I have no idea, that's just how its always been.
 Girl 2: Mr. Mac, you should lay down on the ground and we could use the oil to cook some eggs on your forehead.
Girl 1: Or you could put a can next to your head and we could collect it.
Me: Thanks ladies.

Monday, April 4, 2011

thats why I recycle

I regularly have my fourth graders write in their journals in response to various prompts that I give: What would you do if you were the last person on earth? How would you trick a leprechaun into giving you his pot of gold? What steps should I follow if I want to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

I was digging through my kids' journals and commenting on their entries when I came across this tattered response from one of my most eccentric and free spirited boys.


Journal Entry #17

 Why is it important to recycle? It is important because it clean up the planet because every bottle you throw away goes to a river that goes to the ocean and the O zone divoles [disolves] by that and stuff like heat from the sun gets threw and burn people and more meatiorites fall to earth and hurt people, animals, and plants. thats why I recycle. and you can get money.

While most of his classmates commented on saving trees and adorable sea animals, he goes the end-of-days route. You heard of skin cancer? It don't mean a damn thing when your flesh has been seared off your body! Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the "meat"iorites that will shower from the skies, plowing into your charred corpse, lifeless pooch, and wilted Ikea bamboo stalks... If that's not a good enough reason, your greedy ass can make MOOOOOOOOOONEY! So what do you say, will you recycle?