More grumbling…

How about this classic? You give in to much pleading and allow something to be turned in very late. After-everyone-else’s-has-been-graded-(none-too-quickly)-and-returned kind of late. And then…THE NEXT DAY, you start getting pestered,

“Have you graded that yet?”

I’ll get right on it.


Or this one: You get handed a pile of stapled work.

“What’s this?”

“My mom said I needed to get my grade up, so she made me do all this work.”

“When did you ask what you could make up or even IF you could?”

“We thought I could get some extra credit.”

I’ll get right on it. Grumble…

More seventh grade straight lines…

We’re still grooving on The Midwife’s Apprentice. They were cracking up at Jennet’s “economies” at the inn where Alyce works. The over-yeasted bread, the weighted mugs, the fakie on the clean sheets… Oooh they gross out at that one.

“Better not be sleeping on the bedspread at a motel…”


They also can’t believe the sawdust in the piecrust.


“Sometimes they put cellulose into those high fiber breads. You know what cellulose is?  Wood fiber.”


They also can’t believe how they used to drink beer at every meal back then. Even the kids.  Some of them like to profess that “that would be cool.” Uh huh.  Yesterday we read the part where Alyce and Edward are eating their bread and beer breakfast before the sheep shearing.

“Can you imagine having beer for breakfast when you were six?”

One genius blurts out,

“I’ve drunk beer before!”

You have to wait a beat or two while the initial laughter dies down…

“No way! Really? I guess that explains a lot.”

Too easy…

I also had to show a bunch of them what figs are.

“You know that what’s the center of Fig Newtons is made of, don’t you?”

“I thought it was just somebody’s name.”

Speaking of easy laughs… While they are “sharing” or going on about something, use your fingers to count how many times they use the unnecessary “like.”

“Yesterday, Mr. B was like so mean…he like got like so mad at  John and John didn’t do like anything…”

They notice you’re counting something, and it slows them down while they try to process that and continue with their ramblings. So they start saying it more. Sometimes they realize what I’m counting, and that makes them more self conscious, and likely to say it.

Ahh. Good times…

Maybe it’s just around these parts… It’s the “OK, So.” They wildly wave their hands at you to answer any question (rhetorical or not) that starts with, “Have any of you…?” They desperately want to share. You finally call on them.

“OK. So… I was…”

Every. Single. Time. OK. So…

That’s another one I like to make them painfully self-conscious of. Sometimes they freeze up trying not to open with it.

“OK…Wait! Let me start again. O..Wait! Now I can’t think of anything else.”

“Relax. Try it again.”


(With a nod to the master of dotdotdot journalism, Herb Caen.)