Ah, Middle School

1.  Tyler, waiting for the bell to ring to start class, stares at the stuffed chicken on my bookshelf, cogs visibly turning. “Hey, look at that big cock!” he declares loudly, then looks around to see if anyone has reacted.

Because the only people in the room are me and three seventh grade girls on the opposite side of the room talking to each other, no one responds.

“What is a big cock doing up there?”

No response.

“Have you ever seen such a big-”

“We get it, Tyler,” I say as I walk past.  “Let it go.”


2.  Before class starts, Kairi pulls out a notebook and asks me what my favorite animal is.  “A cat,” I say.  Later, I’m standing up at the front giving instructions to the class.  Suddenly, Kairi gets up and walks up to me and hands me a piece of paper.  On it is a drawing of a cat.  I am startled, both by receiving a random gift from a student and by her complete disregard for the fact that I am in the middle of standing at the front giving instructions to the class.



3. “Does anybody know why the plays in Shakespeare’s time didn’t usually have many parts for women?” I ask my Advanced Theater class.  Hands shoot up all over.  “Jordan?”

“Because back a long time ago when they started doing theater? Like in the 50’s and 60’s? Women weren’t supposed to work.  They were supposed to stay in the kitchens and stuff.”


4. Sitting position of choice:


5. Drama class.  Students are working in small groups to write skits using the vocab words we just went over.  One group in particular is behind the others, so I pull up a chair and ask what their plan is so far.

They stare at me.

I slide the worksheet back in front of them from where it had been shoved to the side and prompt them through the instructions.  “So, what characters are going to be in your scene?” I ask.

They start at me.

“Thanos!” one of them says suddenly.

They all break down into giggles.

“Okay,” I say calmly.  “Why is Thanos in a theater?”

They stare at me.

“Your scene needs to take place in a theater so you can use these vocab words,” I repeat for the 62nd time.

They stare at me.

“…Maybe he’s auditioning for a play?” I prompt.

They break down into giggles.  I finally pry something that looks like agreement out of them.

“Great,” I say.  “So what could Thanos say when he stands up on stage?”

They stare at me.

“You should have gone for the head!” one of them finally declares.

They break down into giggles.

“Okay,” I say calmly.  “Then what is Thor doing in the theatre?  Is he auditioning too?”

They stare at me.  “You know Avengers, miss?”

I just raise my eyebrows at them, point to the paper again, and walk away.

Seriously.  Sixth grade boys post-lunch are like a bunch of drunk frat guys.


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