Thursday, September 27, 2007

Random conversations


Before class, a bright, happy-go-lucky girl asks her friend: "Is there anything I can do to stop being so hyper?"

Her friend is no help. I walk over.

"Is there anything I can do to stop being so hyper? I'm always hyper."

"Well," I say, "you can start by not drinking that." I point to her almost-finished Starbucks something-uccino with whipped cream.

She flashes a smile. "No, I can't give this up! Are you serious?" She sees I'm serious. "OK, maybe I'll have it with less sugar tomorrow."


Groups are supposed to hand in something by the end of class. As with any group work, there are group members that mess around, there are those that gossip away, there are those that ignore each other, and there are those that try to motivate the others. "Come on, let's hurry up," one girl tells her very apathetic crew. "The sooner we finish, the sooner we'll be done."

I love that advice and use it for the rest of the day. "Get to work," I say as I race around from group to group. "The sooner you finish, the sooner you'll be done." Most just laugh at me.


Once a week, students take a 15-minute quiz to prepare them for the ACT. It's a paragraph with errors they must correct. The topics are interesting to varying degrees. The first one was about Mark Twain. "He was weird," one girl says. "Yeah, he's the one who wrote 'The Diary of Adam.' That was really weird," her friend responds, and I'm thinking, wow, they're making connections. The second quiz was about turning metals into gold. The next day, a weird kid walks into class early and declares: "I've decided I want to be an alchemist." I'm thinking he's referring to the quiz. "No, I read up on it last summer," he says. "These guys were the fathers of chemistry and other sciences." He goes on a rant about how incredible they were. "You're so smart," I say without sarcasm. "Why don't you do better in school?" He glares at me. "Because I hate school! I only like what I'm interested in."

1 comment:

The Mom said...

It's amazing how kids don't make the connection between what they want to be and the schooling the need to be it. Seniors come in and I tell them to check out the careers link. "Why? I know what I want to be!" I tell them to check out what kinds of courses they need, and they're shocked. I guess they think by wishing and good luck, you become.