Too Cool for School


Spit wads and Homework

Sometimes all you need is a little sleep and to eat your vegetables.
Did I tell you I made a kid lick a spit wad off of the whiteboard today? I did. That shows my maturity as a teacher, I’m sure. I should have sent the kid to the office immediately, but instead I laughed about the spit wad that landed and stuck five inches from my head as I was explaining the lesson today. Come to find out, there were dozens of spitwads all over my classroom and I was totally oblivious to their launches. There are two very wicked wads, for instance, on my ceiling, each about an inch in diameter. Can you imagine? So I had Martin lick the spitwad off the whiteboard. The kids thought I really was having a great time, and then I punished the whole class for not fessing up to the two big ones on the ceiling. Well, I may be immature. But I’m not stupid. A little peer pressure goes a long way. We’ll see how many of them actually did their homework tonight. Plus, they have a quiz tomorrow. Sometimes I hate being responsible for other people’s human development.

After Note: Only two of them actually did their homework. The rest got zero’s. Don't tell anyone, because I was supposed to send them to Friday Night Lights: a misery of afterschool detention cleverly packaged with a fun-sounding name.


Day of the Elvis Pelvises

Today was my second day, and much more complicated. You can always hide first day jitters by reading syllabi and laying ground rules, acting meaner than you have to, and playing name-games. Today I started working math problems in my remedial TAKS classes and then realized I had forgotten most of the basic algebraic equations. In dance class, I gave a student-centered assignment and then hijacked it, turning it into a lecture, which earned me a scathing scolding by a student who told me yesterday that she was dropping the class. (Would that she had.) At any rate, I heard more innuendo today than I’d care to hear in a lifetime. It’s true what they say…that every generation thinks they invented sex. These kids act like I don’t know what they’re talking about! I pretend not to, because I’ve learned that if you cast a knowing glance, they assume you appreciate their humor and want to hear more. Yes, I already play dumb. Their jokes are a trap. They want to know where I stand and I’d rather kiss a toilet seat than preach abstinence. I’d rather be a living example, because everything else just fails. It just seems like I keep saying the wrong things. The tech theatre class erupted at the word “nut” yesterday. We were talking about hardware! That doesn’t even cover what happened when I explained legs, teasers, and thrust stages. One boy even demonstrated his joke for everyone, just in case we missed the joke the first two, three, four times. Wow. If there’s one thing that makes me squirm, it’s skinny high school boys with Elvis-Pelvises.


Only the First Day!

Today was my first day of teaching, and we still haven’t chosen a play yet. It will be performed in about eight weeks, whatever it is. I am not directing it. We’ve looked at everything, it seems, and were about to settled on Dearly Departed when we realized that we’d be making a huge social commentary on the town we just moved to, when all they’ve ever done before were classics. (sigh) We just don’t know what to choose. It needs to be a comedy, but we are looking at Golden Boy by Clifford Odets, which is one of those edgy realism plays from the Federal Theatre Project. Not too funny, but compelling. We’re also thinking about The Crucible. Talk about not funny! We can’t find anything that really compels us, Tempa and I, and I think that she is starting to give up hope. Not me, though. Everything is brand new here, and I’ll take any artistic project I can get my hands on. I may regret claiming that, but I’m hungry for some kind of far-away play, the kind you only learn about in theatre History or hear that Steppenwolf is doing in their season.

Oh yeah! I taught today. Well it felt like just another day at CATS, only longer, and with more papers to keep up with. Me, up in front of the kids, fighting for their attention, their respect, and their minds. Tomorrow, I don’t think I will fight so hard. After all, learning is in their hands. I’m utterly spent. It’s 9:00 and I’m going to bed.

Love always,
Heather Quotes