The heatwave finally broke, and we finally reached Outsiders chapter 4.

Pretty much every year about the third week of September or so, we get a heatwave around these parts. This year was no different. Well maybe a little. For one, the heat was almost a week later than usual. Secondly, it was the hottest stretch in a loooong time. 107. 111. 110. 107. Something like that; I lost track. I LOVE hot weather, but this was giving Vegas in July a run for its money. And we average 68-75 pretty much year round. Even in winter. The kids were dying. And those that weren’t dying were working the dress code. Hard.

Anyway, I’ve been illing a bit for the last couple days, and we had an assembly during the last period of the day, which happens to be my prep. So I pawned my slaves off to other teachers, and went home early to take a nap.

I am a big fan of naps. The kids always think I’m joking when I say that when they’re finished with the Friday test, they can, “doodle, Trackword, read, or put your head down on your desk and go nigh nigh.”

“Really? We can sleep?”

“If you’re finished with the test, and you’re quiet, why not? Just don’t snore.”

I love to sneak a 20 minute nap in now and then during our late start mornings. Or when there’s an assembly I don’t have to go to. Or when my slaves are gone during my prep. Every year, my 4th period (right after lunch) class and I discuss the merits of adding a siesta period to the school day.

I lay down at about 1:45. It was 107 degrees, and my snout was still full of snot. I woke up at 3:30. It was 80 degrees and I was breathing easily.

As Bill and Ted would say, “Most excellent, dude.”

I am still lagging a little, so here’s a pretty good rerun from last year about this time.  Last year’s crew was more entertaining anyway (and annoying too). Since we’re in chapter four, it’s time for a little Hank W.  (from 10/1/09)

Most of the classes finished the pivotal chapter 4 today. We listened to Hank Williams sing “Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?” My Hank bobblehead rocked, even headbangin’ a little. Most of the kids squirmed and looked at each other nervously.

“Pony feels the same way.”

I did have a few cowgirls confess to me on the way out the door that they liked it.

Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?

Hank gets mentioned three times in chapter 4. In Pony’s description of Buck Merrill, he says that Buck is “out of it…He dug Hank Williams. How gross can you get?” Then Dally adds a few choice adjectives after “Hank Williams.” That always draws a laugh, now that most of them know what an adjective is. And then Pony says that the farmer he asks for directions from sounds “as corn-poney as Hank Williams.”

One of the questions on tomorrow’s test is:

  • The early death of Hank Williams was a great loss to the music world.  a) True  b) False

They had better get it right.

We also rocked out to some Prince. One of this week’s vocabulary words is delirious.


[audio: – Delirious.mp3]
Prince- “Delirious”

So we had a Hank vs. Prince throwdown. Prince won, and one kid even busted a move or two for the class. (Aside: My room used to be the typing room, and there’s an elevated platform where the teacher’s station used to be. I even have plugs all over the floor from when they went to electric typewriters. I always say, “I have a stage. Bust a move all you want, if you want.” They rarely take me up on it, but it does happen.) He wasn’t very good, but you have to give him props for having the guts and self esteem to try.

When Dally tells them to hop the “3:15 freight to Windrixville,” I pause and remind them of the timeline. They can’t cope.

“You realize that he means 3:15 in the morning?”


“You also realize that it’s still the same night.”


“It’s only been about 36 hours since the book began. In chapter one, figure that it’s about 6pm when Pony is walking home from the movies and gets jumped and saved. The next evening – chapter 2, Pony, Johnny and Dally go to the drive-in. After the movie -in chapter 3, they’re walking the girls home, when they get the Mustang drive-by. The girls leave with the Socs. Pony fall asleep in the lot with Johnny, and then runs home and has his altercation with Darry. He runs out, he and Johnny go to the park and get jumped in chapter 4. Johnny kills Bob, and they run to Dally. Now it’s 3am. What a night!”


On an unrelated note: My student assistants often get farmed out to do work for other teachers. One of the teachers usually pays in Butterfingers or some such candy. The male half of this year’s pair, “Chris,”  just finished a job for that teacher. I asked Chris what kind of candy he preferred.

“I don’t eat candy.”

“What? That’s pretty admirable, but I mean… There’s nothing snacky that you  might want?”

“I would feel bad afterwards, if I ate something like that.”

“There’s gotta be some sort of food item. Mrs. G like to feed us.”

“How about some lean meat?”