Friday, March 21, 2008

Hot Potatoes

My sister and her husband were preparing dinner tonight. I asked if there was anything I could do to help and Sue told me to open the oven door and "check on the baked potatoes."

I opened the oven door, looked at them, and my glasses got all steamed up. I shut the door and told her they were still there and send their regards.

She got all exasperated with me and told me to FEEL them to see if they were done.

I told her they were HOT and I sure as h*ll was not going to stick my hand in the oven.

"Then use a POTHOLDER," she says, "if you are that much of a big baby."

I nosed around the kitchen but couldn't find a potholder.

"I can't find a potholder," I said.

"Just FEEL that d*mn potatoes to see if they are done," she says, with that TONE in her voice.

"No. They're too HOT," I say.

"Big baby," she says.

"Not either," I say.

Then she sticks her hands in the burning hot oven and feels the potatoes and pronounces them DONE.

She proceeds to pull them OUT of the oven and put them in a bowl. She does this without a potholder, just to spite me.

"Are too," she says

"AM NOT!" I say.

Under her breath, during dinner, she says, "ARE TOO!"

"I am NOT!" I hissed back.

Nobody in the family is sticking up for me.

Would YOU stick your hand in the oven to FEEL baked
potatoes that have been in there long enough to burn the
first layer of skin off your hand?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Keep Your Hands and Arms Inside the Car at all Times~

To put it mildly, I have a very active and talkative class. I seem to be blessed with one every year, but the current crop burns more calories with jaw-flapping and body movements than any previous class I have taken under my teaching wing.

Instructional time, in their view, is perfect for gossiping, back-flips, and arm wrestling. They talk through lessons. They talk through stories. They talk through math activities and center time. When visiting the bathroom, they sing. LOUDLY.

During Physical Education, I can keep them active, but it is nothing compared to the gymnastics they practice while on the rug for whole-group instruction. I am often tempted to hold up a score card after maneuvers that deserve taping for the U.S. Olympic team. I'm thinking Raymond may be scholarship material.

They really outdo themselves when lining up. This is the time most appropriate, in their view, for pushing, shoving, bouncing, jumping, can-can dancing, and breathless communications about who is who's friend and who is currently out of favor. This is the time for touching, poking, leaping, and hopping like rabbits. It is also the time for loud wailing and gnashing of teeth as "the chosen ones" find out they are out of favor.

Walking in a line has been especially difficult for this class. Colored masking tape on the rug did nothing for them. Line "rules" are viewed as "suggestions" and nothing more. Repeated practicing, with arms folded and feet quiet, lips pursed, and shoulders straight, result in a perfect line - one time.

Lining up means picking up sticks from the grass, manipulating every prodruding handle on the custodian's truck, and ballet leaps that are noteworthy - and loud. The side wall of the cafeteria is rubbed continuously or kicked with loud grunting noises. They don't walk ANYWHERE to which they can run.

I admonish. I scold. I have them do it again. And again. Repeated practice means more sticks, more leaps, more kicks, and more efforts to rub the concrete off the cafeteria wall. Repeated walks "in order to get it right" mean more practice with foot moves that look mysteriously like cross-country skiing. I often add these minutes to my plan book and label them, "P.E."

Today, I forewarn them about appropriate line behavior. We are walking to the cafeteria and it is ESSENTIAL, I tell them, that they walk with quiet hands and quiet feet. I stand over them with my best teacher scowl and I say, "No kicking, no running, no jumping, no leaping, no bouncing, no binging, no hopping, no hair pulling...."

"AND," yells Diego, in his best immitation-teacher voice, "NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!"