Ok, so…

Almost all of my seventh graders, for years now, have prefaced every story or new thought with the words,

“OK, so…”

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.”

“Independent clause.”

“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!”