Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chatty Cathy (and Charlie, and Christy, and...)

One of my classes this year has a majority of kids who just like to talk. They sing to themselves under their breath, even, when they aren't talking. There are so many that I am sometimes reduced to elementary school management techniques such as writing the word Q U I E T on the board and erasing letters as a threat to keep them after class right before (oh, I am the Lord's favorite to have the talkers this period) lunch

I am not proud of this.

I spent a whole week on interactive lessons wherein the kids were supposed to learn that many people thought our first constitution was too weak and our country was skidding toward chaos....

Me: "So there were two extremes our founders feared. Can you name them? One, two three--"

Class, tentatively and not in unison: "Dictatorship and anarchy..."

Me: "Nice. After what we learned all week, to which extreme does it look like the US was closer?"

Class, enthusiastically as one: "Dictatorship!"


My colleague who shares many of the same kiddos observed me and said this batch just likes to bellow out  just to be heard, no thinking. I must cling to that.

The other classes understood the lesson completely.

I am slightly mollified.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October 31

So I do not enjoy this holiday. Its origins bleed through in all the fear and horror and ugliness that folks seek out and that is thrown at us, and as a believer*, that's bad enough for me. Add to that the excuse for our children to dress slutty (yes, in middle school we have had prostitutes, pimps, and a Hooter girl, not to mention the whole menagerie of sexy bunnies, cats, Minnie Mouses, you name it, I've seen it). I'm ever tired of tired costumes, store-bought costumes, hours spent on makeup to make gunshot wounds, zombies, things calculated to nauseate.


Every so often the creativity and boldness of a kid will blow me away. Here are the best of this year. (All boys, probably because of the pressure on girls to be "hot" at all costs. Ever see Mean Girls?)

Here, A. is dressed up as my favorite starfish, Patrick. You can't see his pink tights and his pointy head is drifting west, but he is definitely Patrick. My only regret is not seeing him with his friends; I understand there was a Spongebob and Squidward, too.

R. is committed to his persona--rolled down pantyhose, fake nails, breasts sagging. (As to the latter, nothing was more disturbing all day than to see R. holding up one to another student dressed as our principal, commanding him to smell it.) His face was lined with wrinkles and he hunched around all day.

If it were up to me, D.'s Pizza Samurai would have won first prize. His whole costume was beautifully crafted, completely original, and hey, eco-friendly.

This last one wins my heart. Today was our Declaration of Independence test, and J. came as The Natural Rights Pumpkin who rises out of the pumpkin patch once a year delivering good grades to those who have studied. Yes, those are flowers coming out of his "stem." How can you not melt when a kid is so inspired by your class that he wears something like this to actual school???

*Philippians 4:8 : Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.