Whenever I’m talking to a class and my voice squeaks, I stop and say, “Hey, alright! Puberty! Finally.”



Stop Sign Shenanigans

Confession time: when I’m driving up to a four way stop and someone else is approaching from a different direction, I brake before actually reaching the intersection if it will help me establish a claim to the right of way, so I can go through first.

The art here is stopping close enough to where you’re really supposed to stop that it still looks legitimate.  Braking a few feet short completely blends in, but trying to get away with ten yards is just being a jerk.

Am I the only one who does this?


Crucible Joke

This year, I’m starting my American Lit Honors classes with The Crucible, the classic play about the Salem Witch Trials.  I usually end my introduction to it with a joke like this:

“So this is a story about desperate, repressed, stressed-out people crowded into a little village in a hostile wilderness, whose desire for excitement and importance makes them break out in hysterical, paranoid drama, and then the innocent, unpopular people around them suffer greatly.  So basically it’s a lot like 7th grade.” 

One of my favorite jokes of the whole year!

Two Shakespeare Quotes Dissing School

Some people may think Shakespeare is difficult, elitist, old-fashioned, or whatever else they don’t like, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Like all permanently classic works–Mozart’s music, the Bible, The Simpsons–Shakespeare endures precisely because he’s the opposite of all those things.  Shakespeare speaks the truth of real, universal human experience so powerfully and honestly that he makes us see life more fully. 

Case in point: Shakespeare had no illusions that school was fun or popular.  He makes fun of how much kids hate school.  See?  Hundreds of years later, and people are basically the same. 

I recently finished reading Henry IV, Part 2, which wasn’t nearly as good as the other three plays in that series, but it did have one line that I really loved.  In act IV, scene 2, after being tricked into a truce by the prince, some rebels report that their armies have disbanded.  One leader tells the others just how quickly the soldiers have gone home after hearing the news:

My lord, our army is dispersed already;

Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses

East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up,

Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.

Heh.  That information could be visualized like this:

Things that run away quickly

A stressed out army after peace is declared

Farm animals after being unchained

Boys leaving school

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My Four Year Old Son Made Up Some Jokes

Q: How does an elephant get out of a tree?

A: He jumps out of the tree.

Q: How does an elephant get through the door?

A: He goes through the door.

Q: How does the elephant get milk?

A: He goes and gets some milk.

Q: How did the elephant get to school?

A: He walked to school.

Q: How did the elephant make people laugh?

A: He told a funny joke.