(Y0217161501es, that is a wicker mermaid. Don’t ask. Try to decipher the intended words. I’ll be back at the end with the answers, and we’ll see how many you were able to get.)

In my classroom, you never know when a whim of yours truly can almost instantly become an institution. Example: Shooting baskets at the recycle bin with our used up vocabulary pink sheets was an afterthought one Friday long ago when we had extra time after a test.

(Hold on. Is that the longest sentence ever without a required comma? Or did I miss an independent clause somewhere?)

Suddenly it was a tradition and an expected part of Fridays, along with mental floss, recording your week’s warm up scores, and Trackwords. I even hear the new math guy has started doing it too. (“Mr. Torvald copied you!”) Now, it’s almost a monster I can’t kill. I got kids making a racket precrumpling for extra tightness and others pantomiming their jumpshot, while my stragglers are still trying to finish the test. And I am starting to get tired of “Are we gonna shoot today?”

“It’s a privilege, not a right.”

“I don’t know what that means, but are we gonna shoot today?”

sigh. “Not if you keep asking.”

The MYOB that has a permanent place on my whiteboard started when one day I got one of those notes that the office sends to a kid who got a phone message, or who had their pe clothes or forgotten project delivered.

“What’s it say? Is it for me?”

I snapped, “MYOB! You guys have enough trouble doing that.”

“What’s that mean?”

The guessing game that then ensued is worth an entire future post one of these days. (“Mister You’re Over Bossy.” Really?)

Now MYOB is there for good. And when they get too nosy, all I have to do is point.

Ok so… The Wall of Shame is the most recent example of this phenomenon. I was walking around reading old-school KBARR responding. (Old-school means it’s in the notebook instead of on the blog.)  I come across the first three inductees. In the first PARAGRAPH. And this kid is an A/B student when he isn’t being two layzee.

Number three is the one that really got me.

“What does this say?”

They’re all supposed to be working on the test, but now we have an audience of 30.

“Umm…I think… #$#%#&?”

“Are you kidding me? #$#%#&? Really? REALLY?”

(from the chorus) “What? What is it? What did he say?”

For once I don’t point to the MYOB on the board. This one I just had to share. But what would be the best way? What would allow for maximum public humiliation/infamy for this offense?

I guess I was just inspired.

I walk with the notebook, ever so slowly, shaking my head sadly at the tragedy of it all, over to the mermaid. (I guess she was just calling to me.) I draw the talk balloon and fill in the blurb. The laughter rises. I write the first one.

“What? Is that decide? hahahahahaha.”

“When I’m finished with him, I’m coming for you.”


Number two.

“Resent? Oh…RECENT!”

I give them the exaggerated thumbs up, and write the third one.

“Re-saling? Reselling?”

This one I had to pantomime. And oh how they did roar.


So now it’s a feature. When the crowd hears me call someone on their spelling in a vocab sentence or whatever, the first reaction is, “Is it good enough? Put on the Wall!”

When I start the slow trek, they know it’s “good” enough.

I think the most resant inductee is bound for the all-time Hall of Shame.

When I first put that one up last week, many in the other classes as they came in and saw the new entry, didn’t at first see the reason for the status. I realized they were mentally putting in a second W as they tried to pronounce it.

“There’s no second W. And that star represents an I.”

After I finally calmed the herd, one kid blurts:

“Man, I love this class.”



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