We’re reading Tom Sawyer now. Future posts will address the increasing difficulty with reading that book with today’s seventh graders. I’ll also talk about what we’re doing and all that. But now, I just have another classic seventh grade line to share.

Yesterday, we were going over chapter three, where Tom sees Becky (“The Adored Unknown”) for the first time, and falls in love. He shows off for her and she tosses a pansy over her shoulder. They always ask why he picks it up with his foot.

“Being a boy, he can’t be seen picking up a flower. So he’s trying to be all nonchalant about it”

There are also always some that ask what a pansy is, even after I just get through with my previous response. This time though, a girl in my friendly class says,

“Oh, now I get it. It was a pansy, like the flower. Phew. I was a little worried about this book. I kept wondering.”


“I thought it said panties.”

Let’s all just take a moment to contemplate the reaction a seventh grade class might have to a line like this. Pandemonium.  I counted at least three kids laughing so hard they were crying.  For the rest of the period, once we got back to some semblance of normalcy, there were random giggles and guffaws and lip-biting. Even today,

“Remember yesterday when “Kara” said panties?”

I thought I was going to need a mop for under “Chuck’s” desk.