Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who can take down Godzilla?


Yesterday, an administrator commented that she had awakened early, and noticed the full moon.  Suddenly all of the irrational behavior experienced recently had come into perspective.  For all educators know that a  full moon falling on a shortened week heading into a five day weekend for students, and a four day weekend for teachers pretty much is akin to the stars aligning for a Powerball win.

Except not in the happy way. 

Today was a classic example of the randomness that happens on a daily basis, which seems to be exacerbated by the lunar cycle.  In one single period, I uttered phrases that I've never uttered before, and expect I will never say again:

"Why no, I can't identify the superhero that has the best chance to take down Godzilla."

 (Why?  Because I'm currently trying to teach these students how to do a fabulously gorgeous Works Cited page in MLA Format.  But that is clearly not obvious to you, because you know I always just sit at my desk during class fantasizing about the qualities and shortcomings of superheroes.)

Things quieted down for a while, as the students worked on finishing their rough drafts of their essays, which were due at the end of class.  There were questions, there were redirections, there were bulgy-eyed cows and foam brain stress balls supporting the determined.  For the most part, it seemed like we were on track to finish the essays as planned.  Some particularly diligent folks finished early, and took out books to read for the remainder of class.

And then the debate happened.  It was quiet, at first, and then escalated requiring redirection.  

"What color do you think Jesus was?"

My brain asked, "Is this relevant to your career essay?"  My mouth stayed silent.

"Do you think Jesus was white or black?"

Once again, my brain had many a witty comment to make, all of which were suppressed. 

("Okay, seriously, this is a great topic to research, but I'm pretty sure that none of you is aspiring to be the Messiah, and we're focusing on FINISHING these essays before the end of class. "   "You don't need to walk on water, you JUST NEED TO FINISH THIS ESSAY", etc.)

"I'm pretty sure he was..." 

"All right!  Get back to work!  FOCUS, people, FOCUS!  You have minutes left to complete this, or you will be doomed to all sorts of grueling work over your break -- with no actual BREAK in your weekend!  Finish it, print it, staple it, upload it -- just get it done!" 

It seemed simple enough.  A plea from the desperate.  A statement of truth, allowing the pact we'd made two weeks ago to meet the established deadlines, allowing the break to be homework free, to be just that.   And had the moon not been full, it might have happened.

"What do you think Jesus used as chapstick?"

You know you're a teacher when you simultaneously shake your head in disbelief, look stern, laugh internally, send an email to your teacher-friend who knows these kids, and then regain control by uttering the words:

"OBVIOUSLY He used Olive Oil.  Get back to work."

Happy Spring Break -- whenever yours starts.  

T - 24 hours, + an Inservice Day for me.