I have one class that has 20 girls and only 7 boys in it. Obviously this class has a different dynamic, as they say, from my other classes…
(Grammar Tip: I just backspaced, and changed “different…than” to “different…from.” It’s “larger than,” and “different from.” It’s kind of the same as… If you’re old enough to remember cigarette ads on TV, you’ll recall, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.” It was criticized in those grammar-respecting days as being incorrect. It should be, “Winston tastes good AS as cigarette should.” Then Winston followed with ads that sang, “Whattaya want? Good grammar or good taste?” Ah those were the halcyon days of TV. And I still think S. E. Hinton named Dally after the ciggie brand.)
In that class, there is one girl whom I’m thinking will turn up here again (and again — actually, I’m guessing that most of my “seventh grade behavior” posts this year will involve this class or girl one way or another), so we’ll name her now. “Sunny.” Sunny seems almost physically incapable of being unhappy. Unfortunately, she seems also incapable of keeping her mouth shut. She’s sort of like the female, seventh grade equivalent of Two-Bit. She ALWAYS has to get her two bits in. Or six or eight. And, just like Two-Bit, it’s just about impossible to get mad at her. Even when she serves detention at break for her unsolicited comments, she comes skipping in the door asking what she can do, and hums to herself as she tidies the room. Then she erases her name off the detention list, and comes back for class two periods later, only to interrupt me 47 times and receive detention again. It is a testament to her Two-Bitness that it takes 47 times for her, before I call on the kid closest to the board to write her name on the detention list. (This is the “Vanna White” job in my class. I can’t be getting up out of my chair every time a kid need his name written on the board. “Don’t make me get outta this chair…stop this car…come over there….” Do dads still say stuff like that?)
And she can do the best “boo-boo lip” ever.
So now she sits where I can reach her, as I like to say. There is one desk that is within a foot or two of where I spend most of my teaching time. There are four “within range,” but that one is for repeat offenders.
The other day, I had already warned her several times, and I was trying to coax an answer out of someone else, when she blurted out the answer. I happened to be holding my Stick at the time, and when she blurted, I immediately pounded the butt end on her desk, about an inch from her hand. The entire class went silent (per usual when I do that), and there was a collective pause and intake of breath. Sunny jumped just like Pony and Johnny did when Two-Bit pretended to be a Soc jumping them, and the boo-boo lip made a brief appearance. The silence went for about 30 seconds, as they waited for what I would do.
Then, just as I am about to move on to the next question, letting the silence speak for itself, Sunny blurts again:
“God, I love this class.”