You Suck, Sir

My students are funny. Sometimes, it's intentional.

You Suck, Sir

Not Really

Grade 11 Student:  “Sir, it’s so hot in here.”

Me:  “It’s summer.  It’s supposed to be hot.”

Her:  “But it’s hotter here than in my Math class.”

Me:  “We’ve got the southern exposure and no circulation.  This is as good as it gets for us.”

Her:  “You should ask for a different room.”

Me:  “They’re all in use.”

Her:  “How about air conditioning?”

Me:  “You know there are kids in Africa attending classes in weather way hotter than this.”

Her:  “You’re like my dad—always comparing me to Africa.”


Grade 10 Student:  “Rain sucks.”

Me:  “Why’s that?”

Her:  “It just does.  It’s a downer that needs to get on everything.”

Me:  “That’s almost poetic.”

Her:  “Really?”

A hint of a smile appears.

Me:  “See?  It doesn’t suck that badly.”

Her:  “I see what you did there.”

Emoticons II

Grade 10 Student:  “We should be allowed to use emoticons in our essays.  Everyone uses it texting.”

Me:  “Can you imagine if Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain used emoticons to signal their jokes?”

Her:  “They didn’t text back then.”


While handing back student papers to my English 10 class…

Student:  “Sir, what’s this?”

I walk over and see her pointing at something I’ve circled.

Me:  “That’s a  smiley face.  You don’t need to put a smiley face in your essay.”

Her:  “I wanted you to know I was joking.”

Me:  “If you write effectively, I’ll know you’re joking.  You don’t need to signal it with an emoticon.”

Her:  “When you text your friends, how do they know you’re joking?”

Me:  “I deliver the joke properly.”

Her:  “That doesn’t always work.”

Me:  “Then they don’t get it or it was a bad joke.”

Her:  “It’s just joking, sir.  You make it so difficult!”

War and Peace

Senior Student:  “Sir, which novel have you read and thought was a total waste of time?”

Me:  “Tolstoy’s War and Peace.”

Him:  “Really?  That’s a classic!”

Me:  “I know.  It just didn’t do it for me.  It’s subjective, like my curriculum.  I know there’s no way you’ll love all of the books I choose for the class.” 

Him:  “So I don’t have to read them?”

Me:  “Nice try.”  


English 11 Student:  “Sir, favorite guitarist.”

Me:  “Prince.”

Him:  “Really?  Why him?”

Me:  “Have you ever tried to play lead guitar while dancing in platform heels?”

Him:  “I don’t usually look for those qualities in a guitarist.”

Me:  “If you’d been around in the eighties, you would.”  

Victor Wooten

Some students from English 11 and I are chatting about musicians we like.

Me:  “Okay, my turn.  Best bassist.  Go.”

Student:  “Easy.  Victor Wooten.”

His friends nod in agreement.

Me:  “Who?”

Him:  “Are you serious?  Sir, really?  We can’t discuss this any further with you until you’ve listened to Wooten.”

He lends me a CD later in the day.

Two days later, they are back in my class.  I give him back his CD.

Me:  “You’re right.  My mind is totally blown.  This was probably the most educational experience I’ve had this year.  I can’t believe I’ve never heard of him until now.”

He’s looking at the CD and at his friends.

Him:  “You actually listened to this?”

Me:  “I assumed your taste in music would match your taste in books, so yes.”

And to this day, I can’t shake the image of his smile nor the day my student introduced me to Victor Wooten.

Led Zepellin

Grade 11 Student:  “Sir, I looked it up like you told me.  You’re right.  The Battle of Evermore is totally about Lord of the Rings.”

Me:  “See?  Pretty cool, eh?”

Him:  “Yeah.  It’s just so trippy imagining him listening to Led Zeppelin.”

Me:  “Who?”

Him:  “Tolkien.”

I laugh.  He’s not laughing.

Me:  “I have a bit more research for you to do.”

A Thing For Feet

Grade 10 Student:  “Sir, you have nice feet.”

I look down at my sandals. 

Me:  “Thanks.”

Her:  “You should be a foot model.”

I laugh.

Me:  “Thanks.  I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Her:  “Why wouldn’t you?”

Me:  “Well, if someone comes up to you and says, ‘You should be a foot model,’ what’s the implication?”

Her:  “You’re lazy and never walk?”

Me:  “I’ll take the compliment.”

And Suddenly Halo

It’s after school and one of my grade 10s is moping around outside my room.

Me:  “Hey, what are you still doing here?”

Him:  “I was supposed to meet some friends.”

Me:  “Where are they?”

Him:  “I don’t know.  Maybe they forgot?”

Me:  “Why don’t you try their cell phones?”

He doesn’t look like he wants to try.

Me:  “Hey, I’ve got a ton of marking to do.  I can turn on the Xbox and you can hang here.  Keep me company.  Screw those guys.”

Him:  “Okay.”