Tuesday, January 24, 2012



Girl: Are you going to be a doctor when you grow up?

Kevin (again): Yeah, man. I'm going to be like House, man. I'm gonna wait til the last five seconds of your life and then save you just in time, just because I can. And I'm gonna be famous for it. Heck yeah.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"The Kicking and Screaming Blogger"-- mi esposo

Don came home yesterday telling me about some of his students. I begged him to write it up for the blog, and here it is! He wanted to call this blog entry "The Kicking and Screaming Blogger" because that's what he is :)

I am not a big blogging fan and would never in a million years try to be a blogger so please consider this the blogging version of a big foot sighting.

So we had a fun class today. As a ninth grade inclusion English teacher, we do everything we can to make class fun for everyone. We are starting a unit on Romeo and Juliet and my co-teacher and I pull out all the stops when it comes to making Shakespeare fun. It is very hard for ninth graders to read Shakespeare and they get bored very quickly so we do everything we can to get them into it.

So our lesson today was titled “Shakespearean Insults.” The students were given a sheet with different derogatory adjectives and nouns and were instructed to construct insults from the list. They then had to memorize as many as they could and go head to head in front of the class insulting each other. The first one to forget or hesitate lost. It was a Shakespearean version of “Wild N Out” with Nick Cannon. The kids were very hard to control but it was ridiculously funny.

Before you read further, check out this list and try it on your spouse or kids. There are 3 columns. Pick a word from each column and say them in left to right order. Precede the insult with “thou” or “thou art.”

A good example is “thou art a goatish, flap-mouthed, foot-licker!” or my personal favorite: “thou art an unmuzzled, rump-fed, pignut!”

In and of itself, this is a funny lesson. But with our “crazy” class period, the kids got going and couldn’t stop. Our “crazy” class consists of our smartest group of kids but they also happen to be hardest to control with blurting out and laughing out loud and dancing and singing and getting out of their seats. They are a very funny class but will get out of control very quickly if we aren’t staying on top of them. We had to put the brakes on when they added in their own insults to the competition. Those insults included, but were not limited to, the following:

“Thou art a loggerheaded, boody-lickin, bacon-neck!”

Oh yeah, well, “thou art a butt breathing, dirty footed, nut-grabber!”

“Thy mother is a plus-sized, over-grown, corn-niblet!”

Oh YEAH, well “THY mother is a broke-toothed, 12 sandwich eating, wildebeest!”

I was laughing pretty hard as I disqualified each one. Needless to say, we will need to adjust the rules next time we do this with our “crazy” class. There was only one class that went wild with it. The others were pretty tame.

So, preceding a long weekend, this was a good class but we got lucky that no one got too out of hand.

Good luck with your insults!

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Get a dictionary"

...and sometimes, they're crazy smart, too.

Here's how the first five minutes of one my classes went today-- I'm changing the names of the players, of course, and imagine this conversation going really, really fast:

Me: Alright everybody, take a seat. TAKE A SEAT. Please take out four sheets of paper.

Kevin: Four sheets of... hey, wait. [notices projector screen, which tells him that he is taking a practice writing assessment today] WHAT? NO. Mrs. Swaney, I can't handle this today. You didn't tell us this was happening.

Me: Kevin, take a seat; you'll be fine.

Kevin: No, you don't understand. I have test anxiety. I'm about to pass out [I should mention that this child is never anxious about anything] Look. I'm shaking.

Me: Then it was a gift to you. Me not telling you saved you hours and hours of anxiety. Take a seat.

Kevin: [standing, arms overhead] This helps me breathe. I'ma close my eyes and breathe deep.

Me: Are you familiar with the word "histrionics"?

Kevin: histor--what?

Anne: What does that mean?

Me: [to Anne] There's a dictionary on your table-- look it up. You'll like it.

Kevin: [to himself] Just breathe, just breathe.

Anne: "Histrionics"...here it is: Histrionics. Dramatic representation; theatricals; acting. Behavior or speech for effect, as insincere or exaggerated expression of an emotion; dramatics; operatics. [laughter]

Joey: Kevin's a drama queen.

Yeah, Joey got a Patriot Point for that one :)