Today my students gave my biceps a round of applause. I was about to hand out heavy Literature books and when a student asked to help me, I told her no thank you because doing it myself would give me a good excuse to get an arm work out. When they asked to see my muscles, I flexed and kissed each bicep telling my kids, “I’ve got guns.” I’d heard the term years ago, I think from an ex-boyfriend whose skinny arms resembled the most pathetic sticks I’d ever seen, and I stole his phrase and have used it faithfully ever since when referencing my own arms: powerless and flimsy, having zero definition. My students, hearing their teacher calling her arms “guns,” burst out laughing and clapped while I flexed and showed off what little muscle mass you can see through the healthy layer of skin and chocolate-stuffed cells that surround it.
This, then, led to all the other kids checking their “guns,” and finding out who had the biggest “guns.” Some boys flexed their arms and pushed up the skin around it so that they looked bigger, and I caught them at their trick. The girls, with their tiny little arms, each flexed their muscles as well, and we all had a lovely time showing off. I had just come from an 8:15 parent meeting and a quote-searching session online to find quotes for my Kindness Wall (Random Acts of Kindness Week is in November this year and I’d like to get the idea planted early in my students’ minds), so I was tired already and found a nice pick-me-up in the energy from my kids. It was a nice segue into our study of indefinite pronouns as they relate to singular and plural verbs, or rather, a way to get them smiling before their figurative deaths by grammar.