Thursday, May 19, 2011


"The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part."
— Jack Handey

Just as there are lots of reasons not to start a blog (see only other post I've ever written), there are lots of reasons not to become a teacher. But one of those reasons is not: because it is drab, humorless or in any way part of the mundane. And because I did not create this blog to complain nor to start a revolution amongst those whose plates are too full to be bothered, I will focus on this humor. Although I reserve the right to diverge into the other parts of my general experience/musings that have emerged as a result of my over-exertion as a new mom. I mean new teacher.

Scenario #1: 5/13/11
The hallways outside my classroom are noisy. My 8th grade class awaits me at the door - mostly lined-up, a little askew. I have not yet gone to greet the students yet because I am picking up kleenex, pencils, paper, paper and paper that rain from the sky at the end of every 70-minute teaching block. I see Khadija standing at the front of the line looking disgruntled.

Me: Hey Khadija, why are you so cranky today?
Khadija: Because Ms. Pace, I have CRABS.
Me: (shocked and amused) Well, I guess that would do it to anyone...
Khadija: (unruffled) No I mean I had crabcakes for lunch.
Me: Huh?
Khadija: So I'm CRABBY. Get it?
Me: Of course.

This was a truly exemplary interaction of the sine curve of emotions that comes so naturally in middle-school conversation. While I was primarily entertained, I had no choice but to feel some level of panic and concern - even if it was buried under true enjoyment of said scenario. I mean, crabs? An eighth grader with crabs? An eighth grader yelling about her crabs in the hallway? And eighth grader unruffled by the fact that her crabs make her cranky? All troubling.

But the great part is that no sooner had I reached the moral precipice in which I had to choose between a trip to the nurse and demanding she never enter my class again, that she revealed herself as a confuddled, disgruntled member of the crabby (read: cranky) teenage population.

And no, I did not ever get to find out what was bothering Khadija. But this was the same kiddo that suggested I jump off the Golden Gate Bridge on New Years Day. That's another story for another day.

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