OMG they’re getting dopey this time of year. Like we haven’t had vocabulary homework due every week for 30 something weeks.

“I didn’t think we had homework.”


(me – in a mincing sort of tone) “Oh, I left my head on the counter this morning. I didn’t think we’d be using those today.”

“You too?”


And our Queen of Dopey, our veteran astronaut–she with the attention span of goldfish proportions–is in rare form these days. To paraphrase the great Nigel Tufnel, “How much more dopey could she be? The answer is…none…none more dopey.”

But recently she, like one of my other l’il darlings, has had a couple of flashes of insight. Whether these might light the way to self improvement is doubtful.

On the Friday test a couple of weeks ago, I made a copy/paste mistake, and then printed 120 of them. I too have been a bit dopey lately. So I am explaining how to fix it so they don’t click something wrong, and one kid (not Queen Tami) just isn’t getting what I’m saying.

“Ok so (arrrrgh), on these five questions, the answers go a, b, c, d ,d. There are two d’s instead of going d, e, it goes d, d. So on those five questions, cross out the second d answer and change it to e, so you don’t accidentally click the wrong answer.”

I have it on the lcd projector, I’m using my slate/pen to demo the crossing out and changing it live, I’m explaining it, I’m checking for understanding. Even Tami got it after the second time through.

But this one guy just ain’t getting it. I’m on the fifth walk-through, and everybody’s starting to get a bit fidgety and frustrated, not excluding yours truly. I’m sure I’m getting a few veins to show in the neck, and I’m talking reeeeaaaal slowly, like they do on tv to crazy people or little kids.

Finally, the seventh time is the charm. Everybody heaves a sigh that sounds like the word finally, and Tami is staring at me with a look of realization on her face.

“Is that what you do to me?”


“Is that how you have to talk to me? You know, real slow… and like say things like a million times? Because that would suck.” After a pause, “For you I mean.”

Half the class needs a defibrillator from laughing so hard and the rest are saying something to the effect of, “Duh.”

“Tami I’m sorry, but I have to talk to you like that almost every day. In fact probably by the end of this sentence, you’ll already be not paying attention to me any more.”


“Yay! You’re still with me. So now you know what you have to do. Just now, when we were fixing the test, you were obviously paying some attention. Let’s just…

Her hand goes up. (Dagnabbit. I knew it was too good to be true.)

“I didn’t do the vocab homework.”