Monday, May 9, 2011

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

The ball is in your court. A leopard can't change his spots.  Don't shit where you eat.

Idioms are the disses that our teachers used against us when we were snot faucets clamoring for attention and a shoe tie. We were in the dark in regards to what they were talking about, but as we got older we heard these more at home and school, and placed them in our memory banks.  Many of my students are learning English as a second language and as a result have not been exposed to English idioms. I've made it a daily activity to introduce a new idiom, explain it, and help the kids knock it out of the ballpark (hotdog) with a delicious sentence.  I opened up a can of worms when we began to discuss "letting the cat out of the bag":

Girl: It's an interesting story actually. I let the cat out of the bag one time when my sister told me a secret. She told me that she was a lesbian.
Class (Bonkers): WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT????!!!!
Me: Ok, ok, chill out, let's be respectful. [Girl] is this story school-appropriate?
Girl: Yeah...sooooo, I let the cat of the bag when I told my parents that she was a lesbian.
Boy (volcanic interruption): Why would your sister tell you that?
Me: Her sister probably trusted her with the secret. Most sisters I know are very close.
Boy (going for the cheap laugh): Maybe they're a little tooooooooooooo close.
Me: That's five minutes at recess man.

His comment was completely uncalled for, but I was amazed with his comedic timing. I had to turn my head away from the class after the punchline for fear of losing credibility with my recess punishment.

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