"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Friday, June 4, 2010

RBR's 'Roid Rage: Another Pedagogical Tale

Story 1: The New Kid

I am a high school teacher and it is June. My habits, idiosyncrasies, nuances, and mannerisms as they relate to my mood have been studied and mentally recorded by all of my students. They know what makes me laugh, how to weasel out of trouble (usually this is very closely related to 'what makes me laugh'), what buttons to push to make me crazy without killing them, and what will make me decide I am willing to go to prison to get to kill one of them. (They also know that if I am going to prison anyway I will probably take out more than one, so once that happens they should run like hell.)

Honestly, if they spent even half the time studying biology that they did studying how to get me off topic during lecture most of them would be phD's by now.

So you can imagine their horror as they witnessed this classroom scenario yesterday:

Ms. RBR suffering from low blood glucose as a result of high doses of prednisone (despite my title, it is a corticosteriod, not the type of steroid that causes 'roid rage and bodybuilders use to shrink their testicles....err... I mean, get bigger muscles) she is taking for her asthma, takes out a yogurt and starts to eat it during class.

New Kid (added 2 weeks ago, got kicked out of his previous school, and has NO chance of getting credit for biology, but must go to school to appease his probation officer and is therefore, just there to be babysat and be a pain in my ass):
"Hey! Why do you get to eat in class?! So that means we all can eat in class, right?" *snearing grin at class, hoping they will rally behind him*

Seasoned Students of class: *looks of terror, knowing if I am eating class my current mood is one step away from "prison ain't so bad."* "Dude, shut up!"

Ms. RBR (in what she hopes will be taken as the warning it is): "Work on your activity, please."

New Kid: " 'Cha. Not very professional to be eating in class." *snorts, looks for class support*

Seasoned Students of Class: *staring more intently at their papers than they ever have, hoping it will all just go away*

Ms. RBR: *sets down yogurt, evil grin* "You are right. It is not. This is YOUR time. Time that I should be using to assess just how much progress you have made this year so that we can create a comprehensive plan for how you should best spend your time preparing for the final. Everyone, take out a piece of paper. Pop Quiz!"

New Kid: "So what? I ain't gettin' a grade for this class." *crosses arms, leaning back smugly*

Ms. RBR: *smiles sweetly* "No, you aren't getting a grade, but I bet you WILL be getting a lot of exercise at lunch today."

New Kid: *look of confusion*

Big, somewhat scary kid from back row: "Don't worry Ms. R, he will" *glowers at New kid*

New Kid: 0 Ms. RBR: 1

*For the record, I did not actually give the Pop Quiz, the students made New Kid apologize and the threat from Big, Somewhat Scary Kid made me laugh, so all was well.

They certainly have me figured out.

ADDED LATER... for the "why I still do this crazy ass job" category

Story 2 - One of my AP Biology students made a song about glycolysis as part of her final project. IT IS AWESOME!!

WARNING: This is for serious nerds only. It made me laugh until I cried this morning. And then I made them re-do it so I could video it. This is my first video attempt and first YouTube upload.

Her back up singer is her very sweet boyfriend who is not in my class, but like any true teenage boy was willing to do whatever his teenage girlfriend told him to do including dressing up in a tie at 7 o'clock in the morning and singing back up into a lamp.

**Disclaimer -She wanted me to post it on YouTube, so I figured it was ok to post. Plus I told her I was going to share it with my 'nerdy friends' (my bad, I know not all of your are nerds, but I suspect if you read my blog a high proportion of you are.) The kids, obviously, do not know about my blog.


Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

I think I would rather see your class made into TV than Glee.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Um ...

Way to uphold the Rule of Law there, Cheney!


What's next? Waterboarding?

Jo Lynn said...

Oooooh boy, that had to be intense! LOL

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Sheesh, you a prolific little fucker lately.

And you had me at "prolific little fucker" ... because, yes, I do fuck prolifically and moreover -

HEY!1! Whaddaya tryin' to imply with that "little" crack!?!1?

I call Carrie "carnie" because she used to work in a carnival .. y'now ... grifting foax. Watch her video and you can see her hanging upside-down from a trapeze. HUBBA!1! (<--I can say that because she's not actually my sister. Also... I'm a prolific fucker.)

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

ZOMG!1! Your latest comment on my blog would have made your friend Mary SOOOO proud!


It made ME proud! Glad I'm not the only one saying those things on my blog!

Come ON 4:30 quitting time and the start of the weekend! Less than 45 minutes away ... here on the East Coast, anywayz.



Unknown said...


Diana said...

Ahhhhhhh, prednisone!

I got nothing more to say!

Anne said...

Great classroom anecdotes...your students must love you!

Sorry to hear you're on prednisone...I hope it's not for too long. Believe me, I know how crappy that can get (I took it daily for like 4 years until last year - also for my asthma). I still have episodes, but not so often.

Keith said...

They can't sing, but give them an A. A+ even.

Regina said...

"I fought the law and the law won!" I love it when the 'bad boy' has his ass handed to him, with help from your students, awesome!

ok, the video? I am just impressed that she could memorize all the sciencey terminology. I was a bio minor in college, but I have no clue what she was singing about. I haven't used that part of my education since then.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

That is such a GREAT video!

You must be a great teacher. I remember when I was a kid, all the best teachers were the ones with a sense of humor, the ones I wanted to make laugh. Obviously your kids want to make YOU laugh; which means you must be making learning fun for them.

That's good - that's how it should be. But it ain't easy to do.

Congrats to you for being an inspiring teacher! And congrats to your kids for being such good learners.

(I'm assuming that young lady got her facts right in that song. I wouldn't know. MY science teachers weren't FUN, like you. It's their fault I'm an ignorant fuck. Also, it's their fault that my body TOTALLY refuses to glycolysize. Yes ... it's a miracle I'm alive ... IF YOU CAN CALL THIS LIVING!!1!)

Laurie said...

Love the post and the video... Makes me:

1. Glad I'm not in high school anymore.

2. Wish I were a teacher.

3. Wish you could be my daughters' teacher when they get older.

4. Wish I were a mouse in the corner of your classroom.

Thanks for a great post and a wonderful blog!

Lindsay said...

hahaha. way to go big scary kid! :) i felt some 'love' that your class was sticking up for you... kind of. in the "we're more scared" sense, but still.

SteveQ said...

Meanwhile, Probation Officer is thinking, "Two more weeks and he'll be back in juvey."

SteveQ said...

And I'll be hunting me some pedagogical tail!

SteveQ said...

The video completely worked - except for the cord plug sitting there on the ground. How can you sing into a lamp and expect it to work if it's unplugged?

You need to do a video with SkB. I keep picturing her with a Valley Girl accent. Like, totally.

juliavdw said...

Love it! !!!!!

Anonymous said...

that new kid needs a first class ticket to the woodshed...

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Very cool, doing multimedia stuff. Has anyone done any raps yet? (PS: In my old district, we had to have parents' permission to post stuff. Don't want to be a wet blanket, but don't want you to get in trouble, either...)

Irene said...

Send the video to Ellen. ;)

That was awesome.