The past two weeks have been pretty much workless. I said sayonara to Trader Joe’s on national championship Monday… and I have been out of commission in the substituting world the past two weeks due to Spring Break and illness. But this all came to an end this past Monday, as I entered the work week with a ferocity, eager to get back in the classroom and continue recruiting folks for the revolution.
My assignment for Monday was Math, Math, and more Math. All 7th grade, all classes being Pre-Algebra except for one Algebra class. All the classes are prepping for the EOG(End of Grade) exams coming up. I got to inflict great pain on all the students by passing out a massive booklet for them to take practice tests in. It was quite enjoyable to take the tests myself, and to be a resource for the students when they needed help.
Can you answer this question?
Ralph's favorite number is very special. The prime factors of this number do not repeat and are all the odd prime numbers less than 15. What is Ralph's number? a. 105, b. 1155, c. 15,015, d., 135135
Well if you can, congratulations. I couldn't until I got a 4 foot 5 kid to explain it to me. I had forgotten all about factoring trees.
So enough talking about Math, let's talk about the more exciting/traumatizing things that happened during the day, none of which have to do with Math.
First of all, the reverie of my first planning period was interrupted by a French class occurring in my classroom, so I slipped out and headed to the teachers' lounge. There I sat on a gigantic couch, read Heart of Darkness, and ate 5 donuts. I also got to scrutinize everyone that filtered through to scout out the donuts(donated by some mother.) Every male teacher that came in grunted in exultation and grabbed several to take with them. The female teachers would do a couple circuits through the lounge downplaying their desire, until eventually they gently slipped one donut out of the box, back facing me. They would then walk quickly out with their eyes downcast, desire quenched. It's fun to watch how men and women who want the same thing approach it differently... women just aren't allowed to have as much fun!
However, the most exciting moment for me occurred in 5th period Pre-Algebra. Everything was going according to plan: I was sitting at my desk reading my book, eavesdropping on students, and defining the word "correlation" at least 10 times. All that changed when I overheard a heated conversation about Stanky Leg. One girl was bragging about her ability to do Soulja Boy's new dance, the Stanky Leg, and all this had caused a general discussion about who knew the dance the best, and how lame everyone who wasn't familiar with it was. Being the poor Mr. K that I am, I couldn't help watching this whole situation like a glorious train wreck... I thought I was watching it anonymously until the girl student and I made eye contact. Then this sequence happened:
"Mr. K, do you know Stanky Leg??"
"Yes... Of course!"
"Do it!! C'mon!!" Everyone in the class is now on their feet, begging and shouting for it.
"Everyone be quiet."
"Ok.... pause... Here's the deal. I'll do Stanky Leg at the end of class, on two conditions. First, stop screaming and everyone sit down(they do it). Second, you have got to keep working on your math, and if everyone stays in their seat and does their work, I'll do Stanky Leg."
So. The deal had been made. They continued their work for the final 15 minutes of class, and then the bell rang. I thought I was off the hook until I was completely called out by the girl. I had no choice. I proceeded to Stanky Leg by my desk to the general uproar of the entire class.
More satisfying than my moves was one kid who yelled above it all, "Dang Mr. K, you can Stanky Leg better than her!!!" Who knew!
Here is Soulja Boy doing Stanky Leg:
The rush of having done Stanky Leg for my class carried me through the next period. I had sworn them all to keep it on the down-low, but as I walked through the hallways for the rest of the day, all I heard was "Hey! I heard you danced for your class!" "Mr. K, show me Stanky Leg!!" My response to all this was, "Say what?"
Nothing too great happened during the day, though I did hear some ridiculous things said by the kids. Here are some of the greatest quotes of the day:
Said by a girl in a proud, matter of fact voice: "I'm black that's why I eat chicken!"
Said by a 4 foot 7th grader: "If I injure my ankle, then I can't date Angelina Jolie!"
Said by a boy to another boy in the midst of a game of truth or dare, about 3 feet from my desk: "I dare you to pretend being in love with Adam!"
Said wisely by the same boy as above, giving advice to his friend that is in trouble for cheating on his girlfriend: "You can't really cheat in middle school."