Almost all of my seventh graders, for years now, have prefaced every story or new thought with the words,
Do yours do something like that or is it just my quirky crew?
I’m back and I no longer hate computers. Just anti-virus software.
I digress once again, and I haven’t even started.
Now that I have a working ‘net connection again, I can interrupt my other various ramblings to bring you a classic seventh grade character, the astronaut.
Astronauts (many formerly known as Space Cadets) are those students who spend much of their time away from the place we call Earth. Seventh grade is full of them.
They’re the ones who finally splashdown, give a startled look around at everyone half done with something, and raise their hands to ask what.
They’re the ones that ask the question you just answered.
They’re the ones who can’t tell you that they’re confused because they aren’t actually there.
This year I think I have the archetype.
Let’s call her “Tami,” short for “Tamera,” which she hates.
A couple of weeks ago, she got around to checking her grade online. That would be about three weeks from the end of the semester.
“Boy, my grade isn’t very good is it? What can I do to bring it up? Is there extra credit I can do?”
I swear, do they all get a script and speak from it all the way through junior high?
“The best thing you can do is to really try to focus more in class, especially when I’m explaining things, because I think that you sometimes tend to–”
Now her hand is up.
“I actually did the homework last night.”
“Were you not listening at all? I was just–”
“But I didn’t really understand it.”
“I wonder why.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
So today I see her drifting again; launch sequence has been initiated, countdown begun and she’s strapped in.
“Ok, Tami, here’s the part where–”
“Ok, I’m paying attention.” (I think she’s too broke for that.)
I roll my rolly chair up close and rest my hand on her desk. I give her the point-to-the-eyes thing back and forth, and get her attention.
“Here’s the part where you have to really focus in on me as I go over the next few questions. You know I’m going to rerun them on the test, so you have to pay attention as I give the answers so you can fix your mistakes on the cheat sheet. Be sure to write in the correct answers. Are you with me?”
“I’m ready.” (Abort launch.)
I actually had her for a whole set of instructions.
Then we start the going-over part.
We’re at number four when I decide to test her resolve.
“Ok Tami, what do you have for me for number four?”
“I”m sorry, what number are we on?”
“Umm. I’m sorry, what was number three? I missed it.”
“Ok. I’m ready now.”
I get someone else to give us the answer to number four, and her hand goes up.
“I’m sorry, what was number two? I guess I spaced out already.”
As the class laughs heartily,
“You ought to hook up with NASA and fill them in on your technique. If you can get to space that quickly, they need to know how you do it.”
More laughs, and I move on to someone else for number five.
“I get it now! I get what you said! Nasa is the space people! I get it!”
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Recommended by mrC
Best teenage first person narrator since Holden Caulfield, and better still, she's a girl! Highly recommended. My 17 year old and I devoured it.
Starts so normal and ends so weird. Loved every minute of it. Yes, I went and read the Edgar Allen Poe novel too. I like Little Debbies too.
- Didn’t He Used to Have a Head? (The New Guys, Part II)
- The New Guys Part I: That’s Mr. McCaw to You!
- Rerun: PIA -3 (2011)
- Somebody Stepped on a Butterfly
- The Right Tool for the Job
- Rerun: Dr. Crankenstein (2010)
- Best Thank You Note Ever!
- Rerun: Open Mouth Democracy (2009)
- Only in California
- Rerun: Sunny (2009)
- Pavlov’s Dawgs
- Rerun: Politeness Girl (2008)
- Did I just hear YOU say that?
- Talk Faster
- The New Fad
- I Get Paid the Same…
- “Oh Yeah? Great!”
- “Running” a Family
- We’ll Get to Know Each Other Plenty, Believe Me
- Open Mouth Returns (Part One), but the Revolution Will NOT Be Televised
- MCTV is Live
- I Guess We’ll See How This Goes
- The Other Mr. Coward
- Go Visiting!
- The Last Servant
- How Many Words is This Picture Worth?
- There’s Only Room for One of Us in This Town
- The Good Sub
- Yeah, I Think He’s the Guy
- A New Part of Speech
- A New Language
- My Classroom Crew (Inanimate Division)
- PLEASE ENTER THROUGH OTHER DOOR.
- Report Card Day (Rerun 2011)
- No Wonder They’re Always Squirming
- Five Shows a Day…
- Follow the Plan, Stan (Sub Tips)
- Ouch Indeed
- Like Cereal? Really? Really?
- Girls, Girls, Girls… Boiz
- Did You Ride Your Bike?
- My Name is mrC and I Have ADHD (Rerun 2011)
- Can We All Please Just Agree to Do This?
- Cootie Catchers Would’ve Been More Fun
- Discipline? Umm, I Don’t Usually Have a Problem With That. (Rerun)
- As If
- 17 Reasons: Kicking it Old School
- Ch..ch…ch…Changes! Oh Jhonny!
- Juice Bar?
- Polish ______?
- YMCA? Why Is It Fun to Stay?
- Is Your Child Ready for 7th, Oops I Mean First, Grade? (1979 Edition)
- SPAM Attack!
- Victory Lap
- Yeah, It’s Sort of a New Thing
- Quiz Show!
- Blog It Baby! (Proud to be a “Thief”)
- Old Guy Alert
- Penguin Watching
- I’m a STEAMroller , Baby!
- The Wheel Has Already Been Invented (Rerun. Because I’ve Earned It.)
- Another Legacy (What Am I Going to Do – Part II)
- What Am I Going to Do Now?! (Part I)
- Ooooh, He’s Hawt!
- Jonas = Harry Potter?
- Maybe Someone Will Listen to the Rocket Scientist (Nah.)
- Were There Also Yessies?
- Is That Good? Or Bad?
- I Just Remembered the Name of This Blog (Also: Vegas)
- Feed Me, or I’ll Stop Doing What Little Thinking I’m Doing About What You Have to Say
- Professor Picanumba
- Eight Things
- Near As I Can Figure, TFA Sucks
- Survivor is Back! Time for a Rerun.
- Looking Out for Number One
- Just the Right Balance
- BTSN Rerun
- Slow Don’t Necessarily Mean Stupid. (Also: Jhonny Lives!)
- Que Milagro! No Five Finger Discounts on Red Pens!
- Kachunk. Kachunk. Kachunk.
- “Congratulations! You’ve won a free oven mitt!”
- Day One: Year Twenty-One
- Last Day of Summer Thoughts
- “You Can’t Take a Donkey and Make Him Win the Kentucky Derby.” (With Example.)
- The Stick is Back, and So Am I!
- OMG, It’s been THAT long? Can I get extra credit?
- No Soup for You
- MAUS is back. (Rerun)
- Speaking of…
- Even “Disneyland” is in Danger (Part 1)
- The Pitch
- Retirement is for Wimps
- OK, I have been lagging, but this is my 400th post! (Also: Husker Du?)
- No Imagination: Off Topic Questions Part 2
- Off Topic Questions Part I
- The Cupcakes of Spurned Love Are For Sale
- Time to Confess
- “You’re Doing So Well Now!”
- BoT #2
- Crickets (Tweetervision)
- There’s Hope for the Youth of Today After All
- I Hate to Say I Told You So
- Questions and Answers (re: Giver)
- Turkey Baster?
- Received! I Meant Received!
- On the First Day of My Christmas Vacation…
- Dedicated to… THAT Kid
- NINE DAYS?! (Also: Kurt Vonnegut)
- Teacher Collaboration (Short Hair II)
- The Great Homework Experiment
- Gotcha by the Short Hair
- The CC Button
- I Can’t Get the Box Open!
- Mmmmmm… Sniffy.
- Writing is Easy!
- Guest Artist: Marion Brady is Back With Talking Points
- Slow M-ohh-tion
- Dracula in Dreads?
- And So It Begins…Sort of
- A Picture is Worth a Thousand Questions
- Flashback to 2008 – Friendliest Class Ever
- Steven Who?
- 48 Years!?
- The Delivery
- Playing Catch Up (Not Mustard)
- I Guess We’ll See How This Goes
- Good Morning Ladies and Germs
- The Island of Pens: How NOT to Sub
- The Other Side of the Story
- Blogging the Scoring Session II
- I Done Been Taught
- An Unrelated Dog Story
- State Testing…and etc.
- State Testing — Tips for Teachers II
- State Testing–Tips for Teachers… Interrupted
- The Titanic Finally Really Sinks! (Also: Sidekicks.)
- Another Step Toward Self-Improvement?
- The First Step in Solving a Problem is Realizing You Have One. Usually.
- Classroom Royale
- Classroom as Casino
- Back to Work? Who Cares?
- Vacation Books
- Relief is Nigh (dot dot dot)
- A Flower? Phew.
- Way to Ruin the Mood
- We Interrupt This Post…
- Vegas, Baby
- Heavy Mental
- Dog Days, Not Just Afternoons
- Are They Lying? Duh.
- The Long and Short of It
- Only in Junior High
- 90 Times.
- Rants and Raves
- A Moment of Insightful Self-Awareness (and Then It’s Gone)
- “The Sub Used One of Your Sticks!”
- The Future of Space Travel
- Argh…Sometimes I Hate Computers!
- Blogging the Scoring Session (Part I)
- No Groove Yet (Also: The Giver and No Homework Returns)
- Still Here
- Obligatory Santa Video
- One Got Fat?
- The Bus
- Stop the Madness
- “What about the butterflies?”
- The 12 Days of Christmas?! (Hope it’s not ALL coal.)
- Reading and a Rerun
- An E-Mail Only a MS Teacher Could Write
- mrC’s 7th Grade Report Card
- Let’s Talk ADD
- My Personal Approach to BTSA Training
- Tip o’ the Day
- Follow Up
- Still Standing…
- KBAR: The Origin Story
- First Videos
- KBAR Part I
- It’s Really Go Time Now
- It’s Go Time!
- Please Explain This Phenomenon
- A New Breed
- What’s This Dang Blog supposed to Be About Anyway?
- What I Did Instead of Work I Should Have Been Doing
- Video Class Update
- BTSN 2011 Rocks!
- Sweat Baby, Sweat.
- You Gotta Have a Program!
- Uh Oh. (Also Cartoons.)
- Details, Details
- Day One, Year Nineteen: A Twitter Simulation
- LAST Post… of Summer. NOT.
- Junior High Rules; High School Drools — Part I
- Surprise! (Not a Rerun!)
- “I was sent to the box…” (Summer Rerun: Rated G+)
- IHAQ (Summer Rerun)
- Didja Miss Me? (Summer Reading)
- What I’m Doing Instead of Blogging
- Best Misspelling Ever (Also: Research Rerun)
- Three Weeks
- You Win Some, You Lose Some.
- Walk Around
- Buy Better Erasers
- Two Tips
- Why We Do This
- Interstellar What? (If we ever get there.)
- Failure Story
- A Vigorous Observation
- “Can I use the?”
- “My brain hurts!”
- Sox and Brewskis (The Writing Process I)
- They Sure Done Good This Time
- This Year’s Book List
- PIA -3
- 1st + 1st = 2nd
- Only in Junior High
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting III
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting (Part II)
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting (Part I)
- “EWWWW! Why would you volunteer for that?”
- I Didn’t Ask.
- Da dum…Da dum Da dum Da dum…Da dum…
- Christmas Stories
- Seventh Graders are Too Easy (Partial Rerun)
- An Artifact
- Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Tom Sawyer.
- Dr. Crankenstein
- I got what I wanted!
- How do YOU do it?
- Pssssst. Act!
- One Flood Over Cuckoo’s Nest
- “We’re all weird!” (Again.)
- Masters of Non-Sequitur
- Ooooh, Scary!
- Correction: Masters of the Oblivious.
- Masters of the Obvious – 10/25/10
- The Secret of the Cool Sub
- Just This…
- His Father’s Son. (Also: Collaboration.)
- Free Speech! (Also: Motor Trend)
- Mailbag: Writing.
- “In your face!” (More Commas.)
- Before the But.
- Hank v. Prince Redux (Also: Miracle Nap)
- We might need a second page in the dictionary.
- The List Grows
- The Three-Word Phrase List
- Clicker Issues
- Top Nine(?): Books
- The One-Eyed God
- Facebook Wall – Old School
- I can’t believe I’m planning this…
- Advice Rerun
- This test tickles.
- I knew it!
- Too Good…
- BTSN ’10: A New Shtick.
- 8th Grade Material
- A Rerun, Just to Keep the Streak Alive.
- Bribery? Maybe. But Who Cares?
- E-Reader Survey
- Guest Artist: Advice for Teaching Middle School
- Normal Use
- First Day of School Quiz!
- “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” (E-Books Part I)
- OH NOOOOOO! (Part I)
- Wish I had at least one this year…
- The Five Stages of Grief (in 30 seconds)
- I’ll take 32, please.
- “Until you have kids here.” (Not already?!)
- Whatever it is…it ain’t working.
- This is what I’m working with this year.
- More Mailbag and a New Tom Sawyer Fan.
- Classroom Mailbag II
- Classroom Mailbag
- Guest Artist: Marion Brady
- Teaching is a Messy Business (Pics Part II)
- Picture Day (Part I)
- “This isn’t math!”
- Your Inner Steamboat.
- Maybe I could get used to this. Maybe.
- I Got Nothin’
- Easy…yet not. (“A Page” Part Two)
- “Go home and write a page tonight…” (Part One)
- Grandma’s Hose
- Permanent Record
- The Timer Redux
- Staff Development for the Passive Aggressive
- No, You’re Not.
- Scrape that Mucus Off Your Brain. (Also: Now I’m the Straight Man.)
- Everybody’s Special Now. (EInstruction Rules!)
- Detention. Also: Alternative Careers III.
- Have a Cigar (Also: Shmartness)
- “You don’t look as mean!”
- Test-Taking Tip
- Seventh Grader with a Badge
- What? What? (Wait for it…) OMG! EWWW!
- 120 Seconds Book List (So far.)
- More 120 Seconds Demos.
- 600 Words a Week? Easy. (Part II)
- 600 Words!? Every Week?!! Wha? (Part I)
- Joe Said Yes. (120 Seconds III)
- “I near pi_ _ed myself.” (120 Seconds II)
- 120 Seconds – The Two-Minute Book Report. (Remix)
- Mostly Rerun Because House is Back
- School Dance!
- Near Catastrophe
- Playing God II
- “You know you missed us!”
- Vacation Hiatus
- Playing God (Part One)
- The Ending (Also: ____ing beyond.)
- Sweet Release
- Thank You.
- “Where do I sit?”
- “You may lie.” (Also: MadLib)
- Parental Units
- The “Stirrings” (Again)
- Virtual Mailbag: Yes, I do.
- Happy Birthday
- New Material, and OMG, Groups!
- Only 35% New Shtuff (But it’s Gold.)
- I SAW You. (Three-Word Phrases II)
- Nature or Nurture? Intriguing Question.
- Guest Speaker: False Assumptions
- The Scream
- Guest Artist: Creating Memorable Characters (Also: Chapter 6 rerun.)
- 57% New Material (Chapter 5 and Richard Cory)
- The New (but really old) Quiet Stick
- Friday Follow-Ups
- Hank vs. Prince. (Also: “Lean meat?”)
- 528. (Do the Math II.)
- “…more than I can chew.”
- 50% New Material
- “Can we read Outsiders today?”
- Dot Dot Dot (Also: 4.7 miles!)
- “But he’s been working so hard.”
- Snnkkkttt! (Also: Adjectives)
- 33 % New Material
- Too Quiet
- BTSN ’09
- “Rock Star”
- Hey Kid! (Guest Speaker)
- Mailbag: Vocabulary and Grammar
- Big Hat
- Mailbag: The Holy Trinity
- Something New.
- “Well at first, I was like…”
- CTEL in SF Part III
- CTEL Purgatory (Also: The Homeless as Performance Art)
- Rookie Year – 1991 (Part II)
- Guest Artist. From 1991.
- CTEL H-E-Double Toothpicks
- Do the Math.
- “There’s already something on the back of mine.” (Also: Racial Harmony.)
- More Research Follies (Also: “How do I raise my grade?”*)
- Shameless Hucksterism (CPS.mrcoward.com)
- Make the Kids do the Work. (Tips III)
- Out of Bounds
- Open Mouth Democracy?
- Research This II. (Also: More Obliviousness.)
- Research This.
- A True Blast from the Past (Vacation Filler)
- Ewww. (Moral Relativism in 7th grade.)
- Telepathy vs. Reality
- “I was sent to the box…”
- I’m back, baby. (Though not officially.) Also: RaffleKing Jr.
- What’s a Rerun of a Flashback Called?
- What if they…? (The Gas Effect.)
- Career Opportunities II (Also, homework.)
- Homework Poll
- Alternative Careers (Pink Friday Special)
- Three-Word Phrases
- Insert the G.
- Mr. Coward’s Snappy Answers to Questions They Should Already Know the Answers To.
- “I like the old ones better.”
- “That’s student teacher, not guest teacher.”
- Flash(way)Back II
- “We interrupt this tragedy to bring you some comedy…”
- Sometimes they’re actually listening!
- Lines of the Week (Sandwiches and Spanking?)
- Super Teacher! (Not me.)
- Mailbag: Hovercraft? What hovercraft? (Also, Dr. Seuss)
- Still Here Blogging… (Wiki Wiki)
- Out-to-Lunch Middle Schoolers Say the Darnedest Things
- Doodle Prank and Panic
- There were tears in our eyes.
- They killed the King!
- OMG! Haircut!
- It’s only 120 seconds. (Of terror. Also, more cartoons.)
- Cartoon Fun II.
- Cartoon Fun! (Also: The Popple)
- A Typical Day – Part One (Mailbag IIa)
- Mailbag I: The Paper Load
- Politeness Girl
- “I like how you’re all mean.”
- “He did?” (Also -ism #9: Am I exempt?)
- “-isms” Part II (KBAR)
- “But, what’s a…?”
- “-isms” (Also: mucous)
- “It’s how I was taught!”
- “It works!”
- Sage in the Chair (CPS still rules.)
- “…flopping around at the end of the rope.”
- Beauty Snacks
- “Do you love me?” (Also: Weird “Week”)
- Mix It Up (but not too much).
- Purple Cape
- Guinea Pigs
- The Stirrings (snicker).
Mr. Coward has been teaching on the beautiful central coast of California since 1989. He sometimes tweets when he's in the right mood: @mrCinSLO.
Recommended by mrC