I really did mean to post yesterday, but my fine web host decided it was a fine time to botch an upgrade, and my sites were inaccessible until this morning. Sorry about that. And the even more beauty part was that last night was Back to School Night, when I like to showcase to parents how they can keep tabs on their little angels by using the Seventh Grade web site. I used the local version on our school network, but still, it was pain.

Wait, I guess I missed Wednesday too. Okay. Here’s yesterday.

We followed up Delinquent with another Langston Hughes piece, Thank You M’am. It’s a classic, and our district uses it for the district writing assessment (response to literature). It also fits with the whole outsider(s) theme…get it… Motto (don’t judge; dig and be dug in return), Delinquent (“it takes a village” and all that), and Thank You M’am (ditto). Now… The Outsiders.

I start by asking them what they think they know about 1967. (I was 6.) The first answer is almost always “hippies!” Every year. Ummmm… Not quite. Especially not in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We talk about having only 3 stations on TV and no computers, net, mp3 players, or (gasp) cell phones. We talk fashion and such. We look at pics of Paul Newman (they know him as the salad dressing and spaghetti sauce guy) and Corvairs.

Then I start reading aloud. I guess it’s something about the voice of Ponyboy. Even at the beginning when SE Hinton is just describing himself and the various characters, the kids are hooked from the git go. It just sounds so real, so legit. And then we got an attempted jumping, with a sinister line, “Need a haircut greaser?” This is where I break out my genuine switchblade comb. I got ’em. They were already begging to read today. One kid even said, “I’m already addicted to this book.” And we’re only on page 7. I’ll have to start checking backpacks for smugglers soon, since I won’t let them take it home. I told parents at Back to School Night not to let them get it at Barnes and Noble. I have to play them for a while.

Back to School Night aside:
What are the three favorite words of a seventh grader?
“It’s not fair.” (Closely followed by “This is boring.”)