Reflecting on the week, I figured I would try to find a few morsels of delicious humor to paint the picture of the week in general. Luckily, I had enough morsels just today to make the job an easy one.
In order of occurence:
One of my girls presented me with a small package wrapped in pink tissue paper inside of which was a silver ring, a heart pendant, a twist of purple and blue clay, and a fruit roll-up. Among the beautiful things she wrote in the card, it said, “I read your blog and it said you might be leaving and it made me sad. But wha tmade me even sadder was seeing you so sad yesterday so I made you a small packet of 4 (hint, hint) things to try and cheer you up.”
I put the ring on immediately and have been flaunting it around as my “bling.” My favorite part, though, was the card. I love reading what my kids write and especially when it’s so unexpected.
One of my boys made a little sign that says: Ms. C, Geo. Green, History, Teacher, English, Monster Mat. I hung it up immediately on my file cabinet. Shortly thereafter, one of my girls handed me a drawing of Winnie the Pooh and said, “Ms. C, I was going to keep this for myself, but I want to give it to you instead.”
Watching a film two of my students made for extra credit in History class about camels. They even put bloopers in involving voice overs and falling down and eating lots of cake and laughing a lot.
The whole class pretty much was in tears from laughing. Of course, I had to laugh, too. I wasn’t sure, then or now, if I was laughing at the film or at all the other kids laughing.
Reading a short story by a boy who’d written about characters named Pizza, Lollipop, Chicken, Stake, and Hamburger. Reading a second short story by another boy who’d written about a family whose names were Ned, Trisa, and Fart.
I’ll bet you anything you just laughed at that.
One of my girls came up to me after the final English class and presented me with her notebook, in which was written the following descriptive passage [with minimal editing]:
“There is Ms. C. She is reading our stories. She reads carefully. When it gets to a nice or funny part, she smiles to herself. Then suddenly she sees a spelling mistake. She becomes serious. As if it were her worst enemy. But a time later, when there’s another funny part, she bursts into laughter and interrupts the whole class. She starts reading again, but can see every little move, ticking of pens, that her students make. She looks crazy. Each new thing she meets, there is a facial expression and a tone of voice to go with it. She can go from arguing with a student to a laugh burst. When she finishes reading, she always has great ideas to add to the story. Then next student comes and she starts all over again. She is doing all this, but inside, the only thing she wants is chocolate.”
With the exception of arguing with students, I think this is a pretty accurate observation. I don’t argue so much as I am stern with them about their conduct. She’s totally right about the chocolate thing, though. 100% right on.
I had a surprise visit from one of my old students during the last period of the day when I could finally exhale the week. She sat in the classroom watching me and we had several impromptu staring contests. To keep her entertained, I familiarized her with some American music. We were joined later by some more 8th graders who gathered around my desk to look on. On the list:
- P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson
- Sinner Man by Nina Simone
- Ne me quitte pas by Nina Simone
- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
- Come Sail Away by Styx (During which one girl said, “Um, I have to go.”)
But the funniest moment of the day came when I saw two of those students singing along to Eye of the Tiger. When I asked how they knew those lyrics (why would anyone their age know the lyrics to the Rocky theme song?) they told me quite matter-of-factly that they listen to that song every night and, in fact, whenever their moms let them go on the Internet. I had flashbacks to the songs I memorized (In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel, is the one that came first to mind. I mean come on, after “Say Anything,” with John Cusack and the boombox held high over his head, who didn’t memorize that song or at least try to?)
I promise one day I’ll stop writing about kids and school. But because I basically have no life outside of school from Monday to Friday, these kids are my life, thus the numerous posts about them. Despite the few bumps in the road of this week, it was a pretty good one. Right now I’m preparing to go out dancing Forro in Barao Geraldo (where UNICAMP is) and that should provide for some good stories.
On a final note, thanks to all of you who helped lift my spirits this week by reading and commenting and leaving words of wisdom and humor. I hope to return the favor one day.