January 28, 2009

Studentisms 4.0

I began maternity leave last Friday (hallelujah!), so that means I have ALL the time in the world to blog before baby comes, right? Um, not so much. However, I thought that to commemorate my very first maternity leave, I'd put in another installment of studentisms to honor those little Bs and Bs I have left behind for the next couple of months.

During a discussion on atoms, I made an electron orbital that was far from a perfect circle. As I was erasing and correcting it, I began to ask the class if they knew what a tangent was, since that's what my sad attempt looked like. Right after I asked it, I realized they wouldn't know what a tangent was until they got into geometry (if at all), but wondered if they might know what it was in reference to a conversation instead. Here's how this one went down:

me: Do you guys know what a tangent is? Like, in a conversation?
Darius: Yeah. Ain't that a fruit?
me: Uh, that's a tangerine, smarty pants.
Darius: whatever.

The next choice conversation happened in the same class, and it had to do with a little piece of equipment I introduced to them that day. It looks like this:

It's called a spring scale, and you use it to measure the amount of force an object has by just attaching it to the hook at the end. The spring stretches, and you read where the plunger stops. So I hold up this little piece of gadgetry and ask:

me: Has anyone seen one of these?
Class: [various murmurings, including "no", "yeah, I think", and "who cares?"
me: What do you think it's called?
Marvin: A springer!
Chelesey: A scale?
me: You're getting close!
Gabby: A hooker!
[dead silence]
[teacher breaks out in laughter]

The last one was a great story my sister told me last night. My sister has taken over for me as the long-term substitute. It was a long story, so I'll spare you, but I'm really glad I'll have the constant contact with my students over these next several weeks. She and I have been planning together during the nights, and she reports to me how that day's lessons went. Currently, the students are learning about crystals and polymers and how they're bonded together in repeating patterns. Shannon introduced the topic thusly.

Shannon: Okay, class, tell me everything you know about crystals.
Leslie: You can smoke 'em!
Carlos: [turns around and whispers] Hey, good one!

You see what I've been dealing with? Gotta love urbanized 8th graders.


Cari said...

Well, I guess there *is* something I miss about being in the classroom--I LOVE their comments! Thanks for sharing...kinda made my morning.

Emily S said...

8-graders, good enough, but urbanized ones, even . . . making me wish I'd written down all of the stuff my kids said. Although they were neither urbanized, nor 8-graders, they were hyterical.

Hooray for babies that don't catch you off-guard!

charrette said...

Maternity Leave already? Sounds so official! I'm so excited for you. Enjoy your winding-down and winding-up...

My students don't say anything that hilarious. Yours sounds like Welcome Back, Kotter!

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