Student Quotes, 2016-2017

With school about kick back up for another go-round, now feels like as good as a time as any to publish last school year’s student quotes. Let me remind you that I love my kiddos, but they do say and write the most ridiculous things. As always, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Enjoy! Continue reading Student Quotes, 2016-2017


Student Quotes, 2015-2016

Chris: “Are your grades just total points, or are they weighted?”
Me: “No, it’s just total points. I don’t do like 20% for homework, 20% for tests, 20% for how attractive you are. Nothing like that.
Larry: “I suppose I can live with an 80% in here.”

Daniel: “Pocahontas? Didn’t she do something with Lewis and Clark?”
Me: “That’s Sacajawea, Daniel.”

Me, joking with a kid who got called down to the office: “Well, Val, I guess your diarrhea medicine is here.”
Val, trying to play along: “You know me. I’ve been itching for that.”
Me: “Well that’s gross.”

Charlie just told me he was trying to take a “Paranorma” picture with an iPad. Trying to catch ghosts on film, I guess?

From my wife, who teaches 4th graders:

Q: “What is something you hope Mrs. Brigham will NOT do this year?”
A: “I hop she doesnt do lots of spelling! That would bee a night mer!”
(Not done ironically, by the way).

From Kelly’s test essay about Anne Bradstreet, a Puritan poet who did her work in the mid-1600s: “She believes God has something already planned for her and her life. She didn’t rush to call 911, instead she let her house burn because she thought it was in God’s plan for her.”


Me, joking: “You know, the final exam for this class makes you run a mile in under six minutes, so I’d just waive it if I was you guys.”
Manuel: “Whatever. When I was your age, I ate miles for breakfast.”

From Johnny’s persuasive essay: “This can be excellent fuel for a fire within someone; all it takes is just that little pile of tinder to make everything go up in flames, school being the tinder, and the person being the flame. This is not good because it can make someone mad, like pants-on-head levels of lunacy, and we don’t want to make people this crazy.”

Charlie: “Wasn’t Napoleon black?”
Me: “No, Napoleon was very, very white.”
Charlie: “Maybe I’m thinking of Napoleon Dynamite.”
Me: “Nope, also white.”

Miss Smith (my student teacher): “Tonight for homework we’re going to read a little bit of the autobiography of Frederick Douglass. Have you guys all heard of him?”
Jason: “Wasn’t he one of our presidents.”
Me: “Are you being serious?”
Jason: “What? Wasn’t he a president?”
Me: “Oh my God, you’re serious.”

A note from a parent to the PE teacher: “Mr. Hewitt, Please excuse David from dressing for P.E. today. He is wearing a costume for a Revolutionary War reenactment and is concerned he would not have adequate time to redress and make it to his next class on time. Thank you.”

From Kirbs, the Foods teacher:

Carl: Ms. Kirby, what does a normal thumb look like?
Me: I’m not sure what you mean, bud.
Carl: Well, I just don’t get it. My thumb is as big as Brianna’s pinky.
Me: Well, you two are different size humans so your thumb size depends on that.
Carl: Yeah, but my thumbs used to be smaller. I think it’s probably because I use to pull on them. They got bigger because I stretched them.
Me: Odds are pretty good that it’s just because you grew, not because you pulled your thumb.
Carl: Oh. That’s crazy. I don’t get how babies have fingernails either.

From Mrs. Berry, a history teacher:

Lucas (my student teacher) reported this conversation today between a student and teacher:

Student – “Some drugs can be good for you in small doses.”
Teacher – “What kind?”
Student – “Cocaine”
Teacher – “Can you provide an example?”
Student – “If you are feeling sad”

Manuel: “I just read Macbeth backwards, Mr. Brigham.”
Me: “And how was it?”
Manuel, pondering: “It was bad.”

From a fellow English teacher:

A journal entry only written at Olympia…

“Freedom…what does freedom mean? Well, it’s funny you ask. Whenever someone asks me what freedom means, the immediate image of freedom I get is a patriotic eagle with a digital camouflage bandana on flying over foreign countries.”

Annie: “Hey Brigs, where’s the University of Evansville?”
Me: “I want to say Evansville, Annie.”

Daniel: “Mr. Brigham, was it Neil Armstrong who cheated with the bicycles?”

Kimberly, sharing a story she wrote for Creative Writing: “I wrote about this kindergarten classroom I visited. It was just so colorful…”
Me: “That’s racist, Kimberly. They’re called black people.”

From Ralph’s persuasive essay: “When people think of Chicago, they think of the best pizza in the world and skyscrapers that kiss the sky. When people think of Los Angeles all they see is drought and Kardashians.”

Tara: “Brigs, what does illiterate mean?”
Me, not sure I’m sure I’m hearing her right: “Like, illiterate with an ‘i’?”
Tara: “No, with an ‘a.’”
Me: “Well, illiterate starts with an ‘i,’ kiddo. It means you’re unable to read or write.”
Tara, realizing the irony and laughing: “Oh.”

Me, jogging in the halls after school and bumping into some kids: “Hey guys!”
Madi, looking confused and then realizing it’s me in workout clothes: “Oh, it’s Brigs. I thought it was a person.”

From Tom’s persuasive essay about why monkeys shouldn’t be kept as pets: “Monkeys can harm us, but what about them? They don’t get off scotch free, either.”

From Sam’s Creative Writing test essay about the importance of line break: “Poetry is a special art. Some love it, and some hate it. I am a person who hates poetry, mostly because I am not a fan of literature. It’s boring, and I have yet to find anything appealing about it. As much as I am against poetry, I was assigned to write this essay about what line break is and its functions. So, let’s get started…”

Mike, ostensibly offended: “Where’d you get that Smoothie King?”
Rachel: “Uhhh… Smoothie King.”

Eliza, overhearing me talking about Donny Walhberg: “Who’s Donny Wahlberg?”
Daniel: “You don’t know who Donny Wahlberg is? Uhhh, you ever heard of New Kids on the Street?”
Me: (Dying).

From Arlo’s short story: “The small brownstone is in a nicer part of town. Victor has never seen anything like it before and is in aww.”

From Kristy’s short story: “As a constellation prize…”

Joe, overhearing some kids talking about how pigs are cute: “Yeah, I think pigs are cute, too, when they’re a nice big side of BEEF!”
Literally everybody else in the classroom: “You mean pork?”

From Amanda’s short story (apparently this is how teenage love works):
“Later that night we got home and we were about to watch a movie when I got a text message. It was Willy.
Willy: Amanda, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking when I broke up with you, please give me another chance.
Me: Only if you promise to never pull something like this ever again.
Willy: Okay.
Me: Yay! I’m so happy. I was crying all day.
Willy: Wait, I didn’t promise you anything. You know what? I can’t do this, bye!
Me: Whatever.”

My American Lit class was asked to make up back stories for photographs taken during the Civil War. Here’s what Ralph came up with for a portrait of a rich southern woman around 1860:

“This picture is a portrait of Southern Belle and Debutant Ceris Bibi Roussel. Roussel came from a rich family that was prominent in New Orleans at the time. Her family has one of the top donors to the Confederate Army during the Civil War, but she disappeared after an ambush of her family’s plantation. It is rumored that she ran off with her secret lover, Alexander Taylor. Roussel died of diarrhea on October 26th, 1862.”

Me, watching Ralph get all up in Barb’s face about something, to the point where he’s sitting on her desk: “Ralph, personal space please.”
Ralph, playfully: “I AM her personal space.”

Question on a Vocab quiz: “Name one famous accolade.”
Ariel’s answer: “World War II.”


We’re only a few weeks away from starting yet another year of great student quotes. I can’t wait to see what ridiculous things my kiddos come up with next year!

Student Quotes, 2014-2015

Well, I finally sat down to post my students quotes from this past school year, only to realize that I hadn’t posted the gems from the previous school year yet, either. Having kids has destroyed my ability to remember my adult responsibilities. For example, I paid for my new auto registration sticker today, even though the old one expired two months ago. I clearly am not a role model.

Despite that, you still can enjoy this some year-old student quotes, and we’ll get to the rest of them later in the week.

Don’t forget, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Here we go!

Allison: “Hey Brigs, where’s Dover? I put New Hampshire, but I don’t think that’s right.”
Maggie: “It’s in Colorado, I think.”
Me: “No, you’re thinking of Denver.”
(Someone across the room): “It’s the capitol of Delaware.”
Allison: “I already wrote New Hampshire. I’m just going to leave it.”

The yearbook kids were asked to write some practice captions of pictures I provided, including one of some soldiers holding hands and praying over a meal.
Me: “Erin, what’d you write.”
Erin: “I don’t want to share.”
Me: “Come on, everybody else has. It’s your turn.”
Erin: “Okay, but you should know that when I first looked at the picture, I didn’t realize they were soldiers.”
Me: “Okay…”
Erin, face turning red, but smiling: “A group of nerds holds hands as they try to summon the devil.”
(Uproarious laughter ensues).

Charlie: “My parents didn’t let me watch ‘Sesame Street’ when I was little. I guess they thought it would make me stupider or something.”

My buddy Hewitt, the Driver’s Ed instructor, acknowledging a Latina student: “Hello, Vicky.”
Vicky: “Hola, Mr. Hewitt!”
Hewitt: “Good to hear you using the tongue of your ancestors, Vicky.”
Another student: “I thought ‘hola’ was Hawaiian?”

Annabelle’s attention getter for her persuasive essay: “Lucy grew up sitting on a plastic chair in school, while Timmy spent his life with an exercise ball as a chair in school. Lucy ended up with scoliosis, at community college, and ADD while Timmy had a perfect spine, posture and went to Yale.”

From Laura’s essay about why dogs are better than cats: “The only thing cats can hunt is mice I do not think they can smell for drugs and substance. They can’t search and find dead people or they can’t be trained, so it’s real hard not useful if you have a cat that can’t help you.”

From Emily’s paper: “Do we really want to raise our children in a city that quote on quote ‘never sleeps?’”

From Carlton’s paper: “Then you competitive cheer, which is a misnomer. Competitive cheer should be called group acrobatics and synchronized clapping. Yes, acrobatics are a sport, but an acrobat does not run around in mini-skirts and sparkles and yell; they go onto the mat and tumble quietly and then get off. Excessive clapping is not a sport and for that reason cheerleading is not a sport.”

As I’m clearly trying to hold in a sneeze, Annie yells at me to say, “Pineapple, pineapple, pineapple!” Apparently this is a trick that works for some people. I, of course, didn’t hear “pineapple,” and instead confusedly said, “My nipple?”

Marly: “Hey Brigs, is ‘wiseness’ a word?”
Me: “It is, but most people refer to it as ‘wisdom.’”
Marly, laughing with her friends over the flub: “Boy, we’re smart.”
Me: “You’re absolutely loaded with smartness.”

Beau, finishing a good chapter of “Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes”: “Wow, this book is really getting good.”
Me: “Just wait—it gets even better!”
Beau: “Don’t tell me that, because then I’ll have to read, and I hate reading.”

Me: “Did you guys know that George Washington’s teeth weren’t actually made of wood?”
Charlie, oblivious: “I can’t imagine tasting wood in my mouth all day.”

From Andy’s slave narrative: “I was born near the Arkansaw Territory… I know this based on how the states and territories were set up at the time of my infantry.”

Hannah: “I got my speeding ticket over year ago, so I can get another one now!”

After talking a little about Louis Armstrong to introduce our unit on the Harlem Renaissance, Annie asks: “Is he the blind one?”
Me: “No, you’re thinking of Ray Charles.”
Rachel: “Why would a blind guy write a song that starts off, ‘I see skies of blue’”?

Me: “Side note: Charlotte Perkins Gillman actually fought depression and ultimately committed suicide.”
Sammy: “Like, before she wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper?’”
Me, sardonically: “No, she wrote the story after she committed suicide, Sammy.”
Sammy, laughing: “No, I meant was she depressed before she wrote the story!”

From Walt’s essay on abortion: “But you might say oh I don’t have any money yah well it’s only 5 bucks for a condom opposed to 2,000 for a baby.”

Robin, talking about someone being misquoted in the school newspaper: “Man, if someone ever did that to me I’d smack him.”
Hewitt: “I thought you said you were done fighting? You told me just yesterday you weren’t going to fight anyone ever again.”
Robin: “It’s not fighting; it’s just me smacking him. It’s only fighting if there’s a back-and-forth.”
Me: “So you’re okay with assault, then? What if he hits you back?”
Robin: “Then I’ll be okay because I can fight back in self-defense.”
Me: “It’s not self-defense if you swung first!”
Hewitt: “Do me a favor Robin, and if you’re ever in court for something, don’t represent yourself. Hire a lawyer.”

Jen: “What’s a misogynist?”
Laura: “It’s someone who, like, massages your back.”

From Salvatore’s cover letter to Stan Lee: “I am interested in the animator position that was posted on Disney’s Disney XD web page. You will note from my resume that I have experience in drawing. I also understand many of the languages that some of your characters speak, such as Batroc and Red Skull.”

From Brianne’s cover letter: “During the American Red Cross Child Care Training they taught us multiple things such as the hemlock maneuver.”

Hewitt, trying to convince Robin to name her cat “Mousecop”: “Haven’t you ever seen Key and Peele?”
Robin: “No… wait, yeah! That show on Nickelodeon?”
Brigs: “No, that’s Keenan and Kel.”

Annie: “What program do I use to Photoshop something?”

From Annie’s Making Your Mark presentation: “And then he got sick and died of yellow disease. Or whatever. Yellow something.”

Me: “The character you made was a white performer at the Cotton Club?”
Sarah: “Yeah, well at first the Cotton Club was run by whites, so she was earlier. Then they started to go black, and, you know…”
Paula: “Never went back.”

Lynn: “Look at this, Mr. Hewitt. Do you like it?”
Hewitt: “That’s a lovely drawing, Lynn. Is that a self-portrait?”
Lynn: “Yup.”
Hewitt: “So it’s you?”
Lynn: “No, It’s a picture I found on the internet.”
Hewitt: “Do you know what self-portrait means, Lynn?”

From a primary sources worksheet: “Based on this description, what was the relationship really like between John Smith and Pocohontas?”

Mika: “There wasn’t really a relationship because as soon as they met she was killed.”
Kelly: “Pocahontas is his daughter.”

From Vanessa’s “Ford vs. Chevrolet” persuasive essay: “Chevrolet produces and sells a wide range of vehicles, from Sudan type automobiles to medium-duty commercial trucks.”

From Frau Meissner, the German teacher:

For a critical thinking journal, I asked, “What is the value of close reading? What does it mean to read closely?”
Student: “I think reading closely means that you are reading with your brain and not your spinal cord.”

From Senora Cahill, the Spanish teacher:

Collin: We got our taxes done this weekend. My mom’s been having a hard time lately, so she wants to get wasted.”
Tia: “What do you mean, like a waste basket?”

Kelly, answering a test question from a story dealing with a doctor’s experiment with water from the fountain of youth: “He wanted to youthenize the old people.”

From an old colleague:

Student: “Can I get some more… ummm… coupons? I can’t say that word.”
Me: “I don’t have any coupons?”
Student: “Croutons? I can’t say the word.”
Me: “You mean Q-tips? It’s the letter Q, then the word ‘tips.’”

Me, to the school librarian, hosting a pizza party: “Sue, pour this girl a Mountain Dew! Or a sarsaparilla!”
Tia, whispering: “Is that alcohol?”

A couple of creative spellings from Sally’s English 3 test:

“Pocohonest” = Pocahontas
“Transigeneralist” = Transcendentalist

“Testes were run and I suffered some minor head trauma.”
-From Lana’s short story entitled “Memories Gone.”

Me, talking to Adam: “Just because we don’t know how something was built does not mean that the default answer is ‘aliens.’”

A response to a fellow English teacher’s journal prompt: “My second dog also grew very old when it died. She was a great dog and had been going strong until she turned 13. Once she turned 13 she began to lose her mind and lost control of her bladder and vowel movements.”

From Dana’s short story:
“So I fell over your gun John, it went off and shot me in the arm,” said Katie.
“I was wondering why you had that bandage on your arm,” said John.
“Yeah. Are you gonna be home for dinner?”

Marcus, who happens to be a prominent member of the football team: “You know what I don’t get about football?”
Me: “How to throw one?”


Head back later this week for the most recent student quotes. As always, it’s sure to be full of gems!

Student Quotes, 2013-2014 (Part 2)

Jack’s sentence for the vocabulary word “incessant”: “Miley was incessant about licking sledge hammers.”

Eric: “Did you know that you’ve got a better chance of dying than you do of winning the lottery?”
Me: “We’ve all got a 100% chance of dying, Eric, so yes, I did know that.”

One of our P.E. teachers approaches Jonah, one of his freshman, and asks, “So I see you’re on the golf team. What’s your handicap?”
Jonah, quietly ashamed: “I’m in special ed.” Continue reading Student Quotes, 2013-2014 (Part 2)

Student Quotes, 2013-2014 (Part 1)

Nick: “Wal-Mart has a really good Swag collection.”

“Anufe” = Enough, courtesy of R.J.

From the Foods teacher:
Yesterday, I took my Orientation kids around the building to look for values that Olympia is teaching students. When we come back to class, I ask them to write a few sentences about it, which I’m reading today. I run across one from Joe that states, “Olympia is doing ok. They have good edgacation. They are doing a great job on teaching values.” Oh, really. There isn’t even a g sound in education! Continue reading Student Quotes, 2013-2014 (Part 1)