It's been damn near a year since I posted something on the ol' blog-a-roo, but with the school year over I feel like it's only fair to give up the goods on student quotes. Many of you who have read this blog over the years have read it for little else.
In case you're wondering why the hiatus, it's because I'm swamped with work for HOOPSWORLD and FreshScouts and L2T. I'll try and be more productive now that it's summertime, but considering I've got a little baby (and a very cute one at that), keeping this thing updated is proving to be a significant challenge.
For bite-sized entertainment on a more regular schedule, follow me on Twitter.
Enough plugs. Let's get on with the quotes!
First day of school, five of my homeroom girls (now sophomores) came running up to me before class looking very excited. When they got about four inches from me they slammed on the breaks and just sort of stared at me awkwardly. “You guys want to hug me, don’t you?” I asked, reading the looks on their faces. Kalli, leading the charge, said, “Yeah, but we don’t know if it’s illegal or not.”
Me, to my first-block English 2 class: “I hear the football team might actually win a few games this year—is that true?”
Alex: “Who knows. Whatever happened to their ‘Turning the Corner’ theme from last year?”
Ashley: “They turned the wrong way.”
Traci Manning (art teacher): “What holiday are you making a card for?”
Me: “How old do you guys think I am, just out of curiosity?”
(Kids throw out random numbers, but nobody guesses correctly).
Me: “Man, you guys suck at this game. I’m actually 27.”
Seth: “Wait! You didn’t let me guess, yet.”
Me: “Well it’s kind of late now, but what would you have guessed?”
Me: “If you can’t see anything with your glasses on, why do you wear them?”
Allie: “Because my dentist said just to keep wearing them until I got used them.”
A couple gems from the introduction of Alissa’s persuasive essay:
“Satan laughs as the mothers abort their babies because they have the ‘freedom of choice.’”
“Abortion is inhumanly.”
Me: “Do you guys remember what state Morrie (from ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’) lives in?
Me: “No, but you’re close…”
Izzie: “I have no problem with gay people, I just hate lesbians.”
From Aaron’s test essay about Puritans: “The Salem Witch trials were bad because those little girls accused them to death.”
Alex spent about five minutes today trying figure out why his paper wasn’t coming out of the printer. He kept printing and printing and wondering why his essay wasn’t coming out. When he and I finally went to figure out what was happening, he asked why I was walking in the direction I was walking. I told him because this was where the printer was. He looked longingly back at the copy machine and uttered a quiet, “But…” before realizing his silly mistake. There, in the actual printer, were five copies of Alex’s essay.
One from Traci Manning’s art class: “Ummm….Mrs. Manning? I was looking at the sketch assignments and like, seven weeks from now we’re supposed to draw an ice cream sundae and I don’t like ice cream, so what should I do?”
Sara: “I'm not sure if I wanna go to BYU in Utah.”
Mr. Hewitt, the Drivers Ed teacher: “Why?”
Sara: “Because they’re D1 athletics and I don’t want my whole life to be about sports. If I go there it will be all sports and no social life.”
Hewitt: “You don't even play sports in high school!”
Sara: “Yeah, I do. Soccer.”
Hewitt: “Oh yeah, soccer. Has any college even contacted you about playing soccer?”
Hewitt: “I think your social life is gonna be ok. Try intramurals.”
Me, at the beginning of a silent reading day in advisory: “Alright guys, get your books, get comfortable, and get reading. It should be silent now.”
Kalli, a chatty sophomore, is lingering at the door and talking to someone in the hallway instead of doing what she was supposed to do. So I call her name: “Kalli…”
She ignores me and continues talking to the person in the hallway, so I continue: “Kalli. Kalli. Kalli. Kalli. Kalli…” I must have said it six times before she responds impatiently, “What?” after finishing her hallway conversation.
Me: “Please sit in your desk today instead of on the floor with your friends.”
Me: “Because you just ignored me for like 30 seconds when other people were trying to read!”
Her, legitimately pissed off: “I heard you saying my name, but I was in the middle of the conversation. You were really rude.” Then she pouted and stalked off to her desk.
Nick, writing an original sentence to go with the word “tangible,” which means, “something that can be physically touched”: “MC Hammer was intangible.”
The P.E. teachers got a note from our assistant principle about a student that’s been having stomach pains:
“I have received 2 calls from Mrs. M—guardian of Joseph—he has an enlarged spleen and they ran several tests at the doctor today (Tuesday). They will have the results back in a week.
“In the mean time---HE is NOT to participate in any contact sports---he is NOT to be punched in the stomach area. We are to receive a doctor note regarding PE activity on Wednesday, October 21st.”
Following that email Mr. Stine, a math teacher and coach who had been forwarded the email, replied, “Do you think that she’ll get back with us when we can start punching Joe in the stomach again?”
From Wesley’s test essay about whether or not Timothy Treadwell (aka The Grizzly Man) is a modern-day transcendentalist: “Just because you go out in the woods and wipe your rear end with leaves and sleep in squirrel crap does not mean you are a transcendentalist.”
An overheard conversation in the hallway between a couple of sophomore girls:
Girl #1: Why do we call it a fire bush, anyway?
Girl #2: Because its leaves turn red.
Girl #1: Oh. That makes more sense. I always thought it was where we were supposed to meet in case there was ever a fire.
Me: Whenever I’m in a new city, I have to check out the thing that city is known for. But I’ve never been up the Sears Tower. It’s like in St. Louis, I’d go and see…
Student: The Arch!
Me: Right, and in Philadelphia I’d go see…
Another Student: The Liberty Bell!
Me: Exactly, and in Boston I’d have to check out…
One from Traci Manning, the art teacher:
Juslee: “Today is my dad & step-mom’s anniversary.”
Traci: “Oh, how many years have they been married?”
Juslee: “They’ve been married ten but they’ve been together for 17. I’m only 16, so that tells me something.”
Traci: “Yes. I think I know why your parents are divorced.”
I read something inappropriate on a student’s computer screen from a few seats away and called him on it. From there we had this exchange:
Wes: “How can you see what I’m writing from there?”
Me: “Wes, I’m only two computers away. I can see everything fine.”
Wes: “But you wear glasses—aren’t you supposed to have bad eyes?”
Me: “You do know how glasses work, right?”
The English 4 Life kids were doing an exercise where they had to think of different musical instruments starting with specific letters. For “A,” Seth thought of the alto sax, but this is how he spelled it: “Alot Sex”
“When the Caucasians, also known as whiteys to the Native Americans, came to America they slowly started taking over Native American land.”
- from Sarah’s frontier paper
“If you were a Native American, westward expansion meant that more white men would come and steal your stuff. Also this meant that the perils of alcoholism would soon be cast upon your tribe.”
- from Vincent’s test essay
Jessi, describing her first day in Art class: “Mrs. Manning told me my stick people suck. I’m screwed.”
Sasha, after having a brief discussion about how “tyrant” is the root word of “Tyrannosaurus”: “Are there any other origins of dinosaur names that you’d like to know?”
From Hewitt: Dylan just swam a lap in the pool with full National Guard fatigues on. He is exhausted. To quote the D-Train, "I am NOT going into the Army!"
One of my test questions: “List three hardships the King of England imposed upon the people of America, as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.”
Kyra’s response: “Two hardships that the King imposed upon the people of America was tea and molasses.”
Jessi: “My dad uses the Ab Lounger when he works out.”
Ashley: “My dad has one of those! He puts his laundry on it.”
Sasha: “I’ve been having weird dreams lately.”
Me: “Oh yeah?”
Sasha: “Yeah. Last night, I dreamt that my dad shot my voice box out.”
Me, suppressing laughter: “Really…”
Sasha, starting to giggle: “Yeah. Then he realized what he’d done and tried to take me to the hospital, but it was too late. Then I became an undead.”
Me: “That’s ridiculous, Sasha.”
Sasha, laughing hysterically: “And the really weird part was that at the end of the dream, my dad built me a house out of granite.” More hysterical laughter.
Me: “I see.”
Sasha: “My family’s kind of weird.”
Alex, yelling to someone in the hallway: “Are you still pooping blood?”
Me, asking the Creative Writing kids driver safety trivia questions for the student council: “Okay, how often are you supposed to change your oil—once a year, twice a year, three times a year, or four times a year?”
Several students: “Four times a year.”
Meghan: “I thought you were supposed to get it done every three months.”
Meghan, on the phone trying to sell yearbook ads: “Hello, this is Meghan with the Olympia High School yearbook. I’d like to talk to you about bringing more business into your… Um… Oh…”
And then she hung up the phone and cried.
Me, being the lovable mentor I am, came up behind her and said, “Allow myself to introduce… myself.” Deep down, she thought it was a pretty good joke.
Jonathan, from his persuasive essay about lowering the activity fees at Olympia: “If you know anything about the ghetto you should know that the ghetto is a very hard place to live in.”
Me: “So what stories have you read by Edgar Allen Poe before this class?”
Alexis: “Isn’t there something about a black owl?”
Me: “You mean The Raven?”
Alexis: “Yeah, that.”
Lindsay: “Are you good at multi-tasking?”
Jesslyn: “Hang on, let me finish typing this…”
From Traci Manning: We are doing a design using either the students’ first or last initial….
Chris C.: “Do I have to use my first or last initial?”
Me: “Doesn’t really matter, Chris. Yours are the same.”
The first few sentences of Nic’s slave narrative (Nic isn’t known for putting much effort into things. Actually, the fact that he turned this in on time was a small miracle in and of itself.):
“I am Samuel Jackson. I was enslaved for 20 years of my life. My master was named Kernol Sanders. He made the finest chicken in the south. My mama always said she worked inside, so she would always get to try his chicken. She said he had the secret recipe that was full of all kinds of secret herbs and spices. In my opinion, I had the greatest master ever.”
Taylor: “I heard that if you swallow your gum it can get stuck in your lungs and you can die.”
Students were asked to define “deprecate” on a vocabulary quiz. It actually means “to insult or put down,” which they should’ve known had they studied. A couple of kids came comically close:
Devan: “When your car loses value.”
Jeremiah: “To poop, to release waste from your bowels.”
The kids were picking out a banned book to read for a project we’re doing in English, and Sasha picked out “Annie on My Mind,” which is about teenage lesbians. Jeremiah in response to this selection: “Is it a picture book?”
From Patrick Hewitt:
Sasha in reference to Austin: "One time in elementary school, he punched my brother so much that he puked! Other than that, he's a pretty nice fellow." I laughed hysterically and said, "That's not really funny."
Alexis: “Does this look like a tumor?”
Me, looking at a nickel-shaped scab on her foot: “No, it looks like a callous or a wart or something.”
Alexis: “It’s actually a burn.”
Alexis: “Can tumors grow under burns?”
Me: “I really don’t think it’s a tumor, kiddo.”
Devan, asking for clarification of a question on an American Literature test: “Mark Twain’s the black guy, right?”
Skyler, God bless him, is a horrible speller, but to his credit he’s very good at spelling things out phonetically. Still, his attempt at “ohbitchuary” left me chuckling.
Bryan: “Mr. Brigham, I’m having a hard time coming up with ten books that I like. Help me think of some, because I’ve only got seven here and that includes the three that I’ve actually read.”
Jesse (a student notorious for being “undersized”), to Mr. DeLoriea: “Don’t look at me like that. I’m not allowed to go on the computers anymore.”
Mr. DeLoriea: “Okay. What else can’t you go on?”
Me: “Most rollercoasters.”