Besides having psychotic kids and supportive spouses, both Chase and I teach middle school. Having a sense of humor helps us survive, in the same way wearing a leather jacket helps if you’re flung off a motorcycle into the path a semi-trailer.
Last week, my eighth graders were working on vocabulary spectrums, where they take a pair of words (e.g. Walk –> Run) and they fill in the continuum with specific vocabulary, leading from Point A to Point B. In the walk/run example, students listed meandered, trudged, shuffled…dashed, sprinted, bolted. You get the idea.
Well, this class was not going to create normal vocabulary continuums. After all, this was the same class who, earlier in the year, had the assignment of insulting me in Shakespearean language. One innocent boy came up to me, pointed his finger, and yelled in my face, “Thou saucy, lily-livered slut!” I can assure you that slut was not on the list. But scut was. I knew what had happened. I laughed and hyperventilated. The mortified student literally crab-walked back to his seat, saying, “I meant scut. I meant to call you a scut.” I don’t think we got any work done after that.
Now take this same spirited class. Focus on a group of boys. Add a nice Friday afternoon, the warmest one in six months. Give them the vocabulary continuum assignment.
And you get this.
(Note: read all the way down).
Sycophancy at its best.