At least the insults are fitting into the food pyramid.

Insult of the week: “Ugly lettuce.”

When a 5th grader informed me that her classmate had called her a “big ugly lettuce,” I had trouble keeping a straight face.

Today I spent making paper fans with most of my classes, and teaching them some “fan language” from old-fashioned Spain. It’s the first lesson that’s actually completely captivated every single one of my 6th grade girls. Actually, all the classes loved it. I thought the boys wouldn’t want to do it, since the “fan language” was mostly for the flirting ladies of the age,  but I played it up as a secret code to communicate without parents and adults figuring out what you’re saying.

“Wait a minute,” said one fifth grade boy, suspiciously. “Isn’t that where they hold it up in front of their face, and mess around with their eyelashes?”

His demonstration was pretty awesome. Actually, the day was pretty okay in general. I was surrounded by excited kids and a flurry of brightly colored paper, folded in varying degrees of neatness. A few classes made me want to throw myself out a window, but lucky me… I get 7 different chances every day to find one grade and one group of kids that is not defenestratable.

I am planning on adapting my FLAN 412 unit on Spanish Castles and talking about the middle ages a bit with the 5th grade, since they were completely thrown by my mention of that time period. In the context of fan ettiquette, I mentioned that in the middle ages they didn’t have air conditioning, and also wore a lot of layers of clothes. The ensuing questions made their classroom teacher shake her head in exasperation.

“Oh, that’s when there were dragons, and dinosaurs?”
“Did the real dragons live in China?”
“Did they have cars?”
“Did they have cheetos?”
“Did they have clothes?”
“Was this what it was like when you were there, Señorita K?”

Thank goodness I have about three thousand pictures from Spain, right?

I hate yelling at kids all day. Even the good days have too much of it.

Today I felt like crap when I solved the puzzle of why a few of my tough cases are acting up so much. One kid’s mother died right before the school year began, and another kid’s brother just got shot to death. As overwhelming as the chaos is, it’s even more overwhelming to realize what they are actually dealing with.

I emailed Esmé, and got an email back.

Oh god, I’m becoming a person who can only talk about her job.


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