Tag Archives: Classroom Confessions

Reasons I Love to Teach (#4)

No Fart Goes Unnoticed

In the adult world you can often get away with passing gas at work without fear of judgement or ridicule.  Other adults will silently endure your SBD’s.  They might want to gag and plug their noses; their instinct might be to cough and to cringe.

But they won’t.

They will sit in your cloud of stank and not utter a single complaint because that’s what adults are supposed to do. Some won’t even giggle if what you thought was going to be an SBD, turns out to be a not-so-silent-but-still-quite-deadly butt-hole emission.  (Because as my dad says, “When you get older, you can never trust a fart.)

I bet politicians and big-wig businessmen can get away with ripping a rapid fire of terrible toots without anyone even raising an eyebrow.

Adults are condemned to silently suffer when others emit pungent odors reminiscent of rotten eggs and sewage.  Age has taught us that is proper and polite to simply ignore the fact that a colleague has released odors so strong and so sour that one must breathe through their mouth to prevent fainting.  Social protocol is clear when it comes to farts in the workplace: “That fart never happened.”

But this is not the case in schools.

It’s quite the opposite really.

The great thing about farts in the classroom is that they don’t discriminate.  Farts don’t care if you’re male or female, a freshman or a senior, a jock or a band geek.  Farts are universal.  They can strike at any moment and plague both the tall and the small, the  rich and the poor, the popular and the socially awkward.  No one is safe when it comes to a surprise gas attack.

And when the attack happens in a high school, if just one little pop slips out or one simple waft of a future poop is released into the air,  it WILL be noticed.

There will be snickering.

There will be comments.

There might be students pretending to pass out.

And if the victim is a girl trying her hardest not to be noticed, she might be traumatized.

I would venture to say that at least 60 % of teenage girls would say their most embarrassing moment of high school was caused by a fart.

Because when you fart in a high school classroom, there is no social protocol.  And teenagers can be ruthless.

Just yesterday I had to pretend to rearrange the books in the back of the classroom so students wouldn’t notice my laughter after witnessing the after-effects of a deadly bottom blast.  The class was quizzing their partner on vocabulary words, and I noticed one boy with his shirt pulled up over his mouth and nose.  His parter had his head in his arm.  Both boys were shaking from laughter.

Then I noticed the boys directly in front of them.  One was gagging.  With one hand he plugged his nose, while he used the other hand to wave away the invisible anal vapors.

The poor tooter was grinning and turning bright red, but there was nothing I could do to save him.

You can’t order teenagers not to laugh at a fart.

You just can’t.

And you’re asking for a mean case of the giggles to break out if you call any attention to the brown cloud.

As an adult, I know that I can’t laugh and point like all the others.  It is my duty as a teacher to change the subject and capture the class’ attention so they will forget about the flatulence and the poor fellow who released it.  But this is one of the hardest parts of my job.

Because when I hear or smell a fart, I am DYING inside.

And I love that high schoolers haven’t yet learned that you’re supposed to ignore the stank and the squeakers.  I love when I catch them exchanging silent glances across the aisle, saying with their eyes and a quick sniff, “Do you SMELL that?!”

You may think me rude for deriving such pleasure from these moments that must be sheer torture for some kids.  But students aren’t the only ones afflicted by attacks.  Teachers, on occasion, also have to squeeze our cheeks to hold one in.  And every once in awhile, we too lose control and let out a butt burp.

However, we are not trapped in our desks like the poor kiddos.

A friend and former flight attendant, who often suffered from the alti-tooties, taught me the beauty of crop-dusting an aisle.  It was one of the most valuable lessons I learned as a new teacher. Feel the sphincter’s song about to be sung?

No worries.

Simply walk up and down the aisles at a brisk pace leaving the students to bask in your fart cloud and wonder which classmate had done it.  All the while, they’ll remain completely oblivious to the pungent party in your pants.  This method has been tried and tested.  It works like a charm.

Sure, it’s probably pretty immature of me to enjoy others’ farts as much as I do.

And yeah, as a 30 year old, it’s a bit ridiculous how funny farts still are to me.

But with a sense of humor like mine, farts in the classroom are ALWAYS a highlight.

 Fellow teachers, have you found this to be true in your classrooms?  Non-teachers, do you silently suffer through others’ silent-but-deadlies?  Or perhaps you farted in class years ago and still haven’t forgotten about it, do us a favor and share your story here.    

October wows

Each month I record the moments in life that made me pause and say/think/feel “Wow.”  These are those moments.

Quite fitting for October, I encountered these boys in the grocery store:

I’m the type of person who talks to kids I don’t know and freaks them out, so naturally I asked about his boney friend.  The boy didn’t answer me.  Instead he looked at me like I was the freak carrying a skeleton and walked quickly to his mom. Continue reading

Friday Favorites- “Rat tails, Polcats, and Squirrel Genitalia”

* Favorite new term

Gurning: “This British term — much better known in Britain and Commonwealth countries than in the US — refers to the pulling of grotesque faces and has often been applied to that action as a competitive activity” (worldwidewords.org).

Seriously??? How have I never heard about this fantastic competition?  And how I can sign up?  If you watching THIS BRIEF CLIP, you’ll get the gist of the game.  This guy didn’t win, but he was my favorite: 

I owe a huge thanks to my British friend, Tom, for introducing me to this world of awesomeness.

He’s a pretty great gurner himself:

* Favorite Facebook birthday wish Continue reading

Friday Favorites- VDay Chocolates

Favorite moment involving my nephew and a ball

We were playing kickball in the front yard, and as 3-year old Hudson sprinted to first base, my mom pegged him in the gut with the ball.  Instant tears from Hudson.  Instant laughter from me.  My mom looked at me accusingly and said, “No one told me we weren’t getting him out!”  Tough love from Grandma.  Gotta love it.

For the record, Heidi and Dan don’t always let the boys win.  In fact, while Huddy was still bawling, Dan and Vander started singing some song from Yo-Gabba-Gabba about how “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”  Hudson was not amused. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 23

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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1.  I was busted picking a wedgie during class.  When my undies bunch, my go-to maneuver is to hang out in the back of the classroom while my students work on something independently.  I also use this strategy when I need to pick my nose.  I suppose I could try Kevin Jame’s move as seen IN THIS AWESOME CLIP(begins at minute 7:50), but I prefer to hide in the back of the room so I can really “go for it” and quickly and efficiently dislodge the offending garment.  However, this week, a freshman boy had a pertinent question at the wrong moment.  He turned around and made eye contact with me right as I was mid-pick.  I’m not sure who felt more awkward at that moment, but he chose not to ask his question.

This awful moment reminded me of that moment when you walk in on someone in the bathroom.  Eye contact at that moment is thee absolute worst.  I so dread that moment that in my dreams a few nights ago, I got in a car accident and when the police showed up, I was in the bathroom and the officer walked in on me while I was mid-wipe.  Talk about a nightmare.  I don’t dream about vampires or chainsaw murderers; no, my nightmares involve painfully awkward moments.

2.  I eat A LOT of cereal.  Need proof?  My roommates and I have a shelf just for cereal.  All but two of these boxes are mine.

Until college, I honestly didn’t know that people my age ate “non-sugar” cereals.  Why would anyone ever choose Special K when they could have Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Another cereal confession:  I wish there was a meat-flavored cereal.  Does this sound good to anyone else?  For instance, tonight I had Cheerios for dinner.  It was delicious but I thought, “Man, this would be even better if the Cheerios were steak-flavored.”  I don’t know, guys.  I think this could be my million dollar idea. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 22

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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Before I jump into this week’s confessions, an update on a few from last week:  first, my mom tried to scare me again.  She thought I was on my way to their house so she hid in the bushes in the front of the house.  She didn’t confess to exactly how long she was out there, but it was for quite a while considering I was over an hour late and she had given up by the time arrived.  The best part is that at one point, her neighbor came out, saw my mom smashed in the bushes, and gave her a questioning look that seemed to say, “Cindy, what on earth are you doing?”  So my mom said, “Oh hey Carol, just doing some trimming,” and then pretended to trim the bushes with her fingers shaped like scissors.

My mom: Cindy Scissorhands.   She’s the best.  (nickname credit to my dad)  And Mom, you can’t get mad at me for sharing this story because you never made me promise I wouldn’t like you did about that other delightful conversation:)

Also, remember how I procrastinated by petting the neighbor’s cat?  Turns out I made a friend for life.  Four nights this week, I’ve come home to this cat waiting in front of our garage.  I was on the phone one of the times so I opened my car door and

he/she jumped right in.  (I haven’t checked for balls so I don’t know the gender.)  That’s a lie.  I did check, but I couldn’t tell.  Plus, I don’t know if they cut those off or deflate them or shrink them or what not when a male cat is neutered.  And I want to assure you that, despite this picture, I am NOT turning into the crazy cat lady.  I know, I know: “Thou doth protest too much,” but this particular cat is particularly friendly.  Any of you would pet it too.  You might not let it in your car, but you would pet it.

Moving on…here are this week’s confessions: Continue reading

Wow Wednesday 13- teaching English to Christians

“Wow Wednesdays” is a discipline for me.  Not like a “soap in the mouth” kind of discipline, but like a “read the Bible each day” kind of discipline.  It forces me to write and it forces me to acknowledge the times my jaw has dropped during the week.  I say “wow” for lots of reasons.  Often it’s because humans are so stinkin weird or my nephews are so stinkin cute, but the greatest instigator of “wows” has always been our great God.  Wednesdays are when I chronicle some of the odd crap I’ve witnessed but mainly the cool crap God has taught me.  However, since I’m a procrastinator to the core, I typically post these on Thursdays. “Wow Thursdays” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though.

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Ten years ago I made an impulsive decision.  I had planned on majoring in English but after one day in my first upper division English class, I got a  mean case of writer’s block and instead of powering through it, I waltzed into my advisor’s office and announced, “I’d like to change my major to History.  Can I do that?”

He said I could and the next day I had a new schedule, a new major, and a new plan for my future.  God must have giggled.

Actually, I don’t picture God as the giggling type.  But perhaps He chuckled.  Chuckled because He knew that in a few years I would end up teaching English- teaching English at a private Christian school no less.  Having been raised in the public schools, I was absolutely certain that was where God wanted me to teach.  Private schools weren’t even an option for me.

“Those schools are for the Christian teachers who collect PRECIOUS MOMENTS FIGURINES and wear “What Would Jesus Do?”  bracelets; for the wimpy Christians who are afraid of the hooligans in public schools and don’t have their teaching credentials.”

So, fresh out of college, I followed my plan and taught history in a public school.  I was there for three years and absolutely loved it.  And I have no doubt that those years were part of the “grand plan” for my life.  However, in my head, that was the end of the plan.  I would be a history teacher in the public schools until I retired or died. But God had other plans.

Today whenever I read Proverbs 16, I laugh at the ways I’ve seen this truth pan out in my own life.  Verse 1- ” The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.”  Or again in verse 9- ” The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  Solomon seems to be saying, “Go ahead and make your plans but hold onto them loosely, folks.  You’ve got no idea what God’s got up His sleeve.”

My plans and my way seemed so wonderful;  my career path was so certain and my future seemed so bright.  But now I can see how my plans and my way were just that: MY plans and MY way.  I had no idea that God was planning something else, something better.

Last week I had a smattering of “wow moments” that all arrived because I’m teaching English at a Christian school.  They were simple moments, moments that made me smile and by themselves, aren’t a big deal.  But added together, all these little moments pointed to a big God who has much better plans and much better ways than I do.  They pointed to a God who’s got everything under control, even my uncertain future.

First, I got an e-mail from a kid telling me about a band I should check out because their lyrics include the word “maelstrom” which was a new vocab word that week.  The fact that my students see how excited I get about vocabulary and start to share in my excitement makes me giddy inside.

Next, I assigned a project to my freshmen where they have to choose a fictional story to read outside of class.  I gave a bunch of recommendations of my personal favorites and was quickly reminded that I have the same taste in books as 14 year old boys.  As the class walked to the library, I led a pack of 6 boys, all of us giggling and talking excitedly about how the 4th book in the Eragon series is coming out soon.  Yeah, Eragon as in the dragon-rider.  Don’t knock it till you try it. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 19

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  The best part about this is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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1. I saw a kid puke in the grocery store and I had to stifle a laugh.  Like watching a car accident, I couldn’t look away as the two year old ralphed all over himself and the shopping cart.  I couldn’t help but cringe and giggle.  Moms everywhere are probably judging me right now for my lack of sympathy, but the toddler was calmly sitting in the cart and then suddenly blowing chunks everywhere.  This is the best part: his dad immediately ran to the kid and CAUGHT THE PUKE IN HIS HANDS. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 16- First Week Back

The first week of school requires some major adjustments for teachers.  Our days of lounging by the pool with a book in hand quickly become a distant memory as we step back into the classroom and onto the stage to perform for 6 straight hours in front of 20-30 teenagers who scrutinize every word we say and necklace we wear.  Not only do our vocal cords have to adjust to all this non-stop blabbing, our feet have to adjust to all the standing and our bladders have to adjust to all the holding.  Twice I came home and collapsed on my bedroom floor and woke up 2 hours later.  My cat was very concerned.

But I’m not complaining because I really do love this job.  In the midst of all this “readjusting” to my life as a teenager entertainer, I did some things that I need to confess.  And I’m not just talking about the fact that I missed the week of meetings before school started because I forgot to look at a calendar when planning my Europe trip.  No, I’m talking about confessions from inside room A1.  Confessions that I’m sure have been shared with parents by now and confessions which may or may not be the reason the principal stopped by my room on Friday and said we needed to chat.  Dun dun dun.  (to be read in the tone of dread)  I’m really hoping it’s just to remind me to check my e-mails every once in a while and not because of…,well, because of one of these: Continue reading

Classroom Confessions

Summer has officially begun.  I’ve eaten several popsicles, read several books, ran several miles, and spent several hours in my hammock.  Ahhh the life of a teacher.  Before I begin writing “summer blog posts” however, I need to make a few more confessions from the end of the school year.  This will be the last of these confessions for a few months but don’t worry, I do lots of strange stuff outside the classroom as well.

1.  I drank my students’ soda. I didn’t realize this was a confession at first.  I thought it was normal.  A few teachers were talking about kids eating and drinking in our rooms and I casually mentioned how I make them leave their opened sodas by the door and if they forget them, I drink them.  By the looks I received you would have thought my face suddenly sprouted 50 warts.  Pure and utter disgust.  They told me that I should NEVER do that and I should NEVER tell people that I do.  So naturally I had to share this with you. Continue reading