What I Call Life

What I call life has been slightly overwhelming lately.  Nothing bad, just a little on the crazy side in the busy department.

I helped with my favorite five-year-old’s birthday party.


Fifth grade designed reading t-shirts, which I then had to produce (print and iron on decals). Click to enlarge.









There was the sick day (cold / sinus / throat ick).  At least I had my own furry hot water bottle.


The PTO put on their annual haunted house.


Also, the usual detritus of modern life: vet visit, meeting with retirement planner, baby shower, women’s group meeting, CPR training, and parent / teacher conference day.

To conclude: as a first grader, in line at the checkout desk, said àpropos of nothing, “Why aren’t there cinnamon rolls around here?”


I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

Even though you know where the kid is going with the story, it’s usually just best to let it unfold…

4th grade boy: “Mrs. [Computer Teacher], I’ve always liked numbers and doing math. So when I was little, I kept telling my parents that I wanted to be a taxidermist because I figured the “tax” part of the word meant, like, taxes. It wasn’t until later that I meant I wanted to be an accountant. Do you know what a taxidermist does?”

Computer Teacher: “…..no. What?”

4th grade boy: “They stuff dead animals. That’s pretty different than an accountant.”

My Little Lizard Friend

I was standing in the hall taking a picture of the 2nd grade work on display.  (Please excuse the blurry photo; it’s from my phone and I was trying to be as discreet as possible.)


A little voice behind me says, “Do you like that one?  It’s mine.”

I looked around and there was only one little girl.  Although I wasn’t sure why she was out in the hall by herself, I told her I did like it and in fact that’s why I was taking pictures.  She then unfolded the following story, all in one run-on breath.

“He belonged to some people in my neighborhood who were moving to the North Pole and it was too cold for the lizard there so they were going up and down the street asking people if they wanted a lizard for free and my mom said it was okay so we got to keep him.  But he died.”

Have I mentioned that one never knows what will come out of their mouths?


Hidden Depths

I never cease to be amazed by the things I discover about my students.  Sometimes they’re frustrating, sometimes they’re sad, sometimes they’re inspiring, and sometimes they’re just unexpected.  Take the conversation I had with a seemingly typical third grader today as he was checking out his books.

Me:  You like the Knicks?  They usually put the [local team] out of the playoffs, don’t they?
Third grader (wearing a Knicks shirt):  I usually watch them with my grandpa at my house.
Me:  Is your grandpa from New York?
Third grader:  No.  He’s from here.  So’s my dad. (Walks away, but comes back.)  But he only went to Rio one time and met my mom there.
Me:  So, he was visiting Rio and he met your mom?
Third grader:  Yeah. She’s from Poland. (Walks away, but comes back.)  So am I.
Me:  You were born in Poland?
Third grader:  Yes.

His teacher confirmed this and informed me the kid actually still speaks Polish.  Who knew?

The Sharpest Tool in the Shed

So I may have mentioned a time or two (dozen) that I have lunch duty this year.  Today I was trying to help a first grader with her foil wrapped drink (think Capri Sun).  She didn’t have one of those pointy straws you need to push into it, so asked me for a straw.

Me:  Well, a regular straw won’t go in, we need something sharp.
Girl next to her:  I have a quarter you could use!


The Case of the Missing Books

Checking a kindergartener out this afternoon, I stop him before he scans his book.

Me:  “The computer says you still have a book out.”
Him:  “Uh-huh.”
Me:  “Do you know where it is?”
Him:  “At my house.”
Me:  “Do you know where it is at your house?”
Him:  “On my toaster.”

I’ve been teaching them to keep books away from food and drink; I just didn’t think it was necessary to teach them to keep from treating books as food and drink.


Monkey Business

This morning I’m doing my usual multitasking as I’m checking the fifth graders out:  helping students find books, checking books in, sorting books, etc.  One of the fifth grade girls looks at my octopus act and launches the following conversation:

Girl:  You know what you need?
Me:  What?
Girl:  One of those little, miniature monkeys that you can train to help you do stuff like that.
Me:  Are you saying a trained monkey could do my job?

I laughed all morning.

Recess Success

Highlight of the day yesterday: A student got their leg stuck in some playground equipment. Our principal and assistant principal climbed up, freed the student, then – in suits – slid down our two 20 foot slides to the cheers of the other kids. I wish there were photos because it was both hilarious and amazing.