Monday, September 19, 2011

DeLorean time machines, giant hamster balls, and sick teachers

This group of kiddos is way more cognitively with-it than I’m used to.  On the first day of school, the FIRST DAY, mind you, one student asked me if I knew that Chester from the Kissing Hand (a great first day book) was nocturnal. – some lessons, here -  She also sprung “camouflaged” on me.  And another student asked if ‘The Kissing Hand’ was nonfiction.  I was so confused I started bawling, just to hear a sound that I was accustomed to.  The students asked me if I need an epidural needle.  Three of them were expert in the technique, and a fourth once completed a doctorate on the comparison of the epidural to the Boo-Boo kiss.

Actually, that reminds me.  I have been sick, and after two weeks, the students have started to look at me in mild disgust when I practice my whale call and fog horn imitations with a tissue.  Firstly, you never know when you might become stranded in a fog-lit boat in the middle of an ocean night.  Secondly, although they clearly view themselves as my intellectual superiors, they at least offer helpful advice. “You should be in bed, Mr. Gardner.”  “You need nose medicine, Mr. Gardner.  My mom has nose medicine.”  “You didn’t give us our gumballs, yesterday, Mr. Gardner.” (I color in gumballs at the end of the day – 10 equals treasure box. One of these students is not receiving a pleasant letter in the ‘takes care of teacher’ category of the progress report.)

The same student who mentioned nocturnal threw ‘Satyr’ at me a couple of days, later.  Who the devil throws ‘satyr’ around? I think that was quite possibly the first time I’ve heard the word come up in conversation.  Another student is reading at a DRE level 18.  She now spends half her day with a first grade/second grade mix.  I tried for just first grade, but they just laughed when I mentioned her reading level.  I asked the student how she would feel about reading with second graders, but she just muttered under her breath that she had already calculated this outcome to a 97.893 degree of probability, and had already mentally scanned ahead to the second grade room, and deemed them at least remotely acceptable.  She then levitated through the hallway to the next room, while I lumbered out of breath behind her with a runny nose and a normal I.Q.

Back in the classroom, six of my students had designed a functional DeLorean time machine to allow them more recess time.  Only they improved the original design.  Now, instead of a vehicle moving at 88 miles per hour, it only requires a medium sized adult running for thirteen minutes inside of a giant, plastic, hamster ball.  They offered to let me help them out with the final modifications tomorrow.  I’m pretty excited.  I’ve never worked on a real time-machine, before.  I wonder what I’ll be able to do to help.  I haven’t much experience in engineering.  

Testing phonemes is usually loads of fun with my students.  “I’m going to say parts of a word.  Tell me the word I am saying.  “/Ch/-/ew/”


/Ch/ – /ores/”

This group, though, provided me with this:

-“Hmmmm, like me!  I’m living.”

-“Like, to be quiet”

-“Like me!  I’m a smart girl.”

-“Like Mr. Gardner!”

“Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and count these.  Next!”

-“Like a nexus!  A connection, or series of connections, linking two or more things.”

“Oh, god.  Next!  Next!”


  1. I was doing a search for Time Machines when I came across your blog. I drove my friend's a week or so ago. What I can tell you is, don't worry about your engineering skills. They're harder to drive than to build! Anyway, funny stuff here!

  2. Hey, Martini! Thanks for the kudos, and for reminding that I am way past due for an update. Good luck with the clock tower.