The beauty of high school students is that they really want to say smart things. Kids say the darndest things and all that, but only when they’re seven. When they’re fifteen, they try to say super-intelligent things but just end up sounding like goofballs, and it’s these innocent mistakes that cracks me up so much about high schoolers. God bless them, I love these kids, but you can’t help but laugh at some of the things that come out of their mouths…
(When you see reference to “Becky,” she’s another teacher I work with who also keeps track of silly quotes. Hers were too good not to share, as well.)
Me: “Do you guys know what capiche means?”
Avvetta: “Isn’t that like, something Jewish?”
Jeremy: “Yeah, well at least my handwriting is eligible.”
Hailey: “You mean legible, you moron.”
Some quotes from Becky’s Columbus papers:
“The whole time he was trying to reach India, and actually landed in the Bahamas. From my personal knowledge, it seems like the Bahamas and India may have very different geographical features.”
“I think he liked history because he lived a long time ago.”
“The chain represents the people he tortured. It represents everyone who suffered for him. All the people he beat sensually just for the heck of it.”
“He is from over seas in England such as Great Britian.”
“He seems to be interrupted from his work by an uncooperative wig.”
Landon (trying to think of a flattering compliment for a woman in a Shakespeare exercise about wooing): “You are as beautiful as my Snap-On tools.”
Me: “And whoever makes the best booklet, both in visual loveliness and in the quality of sentences, will win a cool prize.”
Aaron: “Is it actually something cool, or is it cool in the way that your mom says, ‘Hey, I’ve got this really nice girl I want you to meet. She’s got a really good personality.’ ”
“All the students were very worried about their big testes on Friday.”
– An honest mistake. I think she meant “tests.” At least I hope she meant “tests.”
“Timothy Treadwell tried to prove that bears have a genital side.”
– Freudian slip from an English 2 paper about the Grizzly Man.
Me: “Avoid using clichés in your poems. Do you know what a cliché is?”
Nicole Price: “Isn’t that like when people pull out their swords, they say Cliché!”
Dylan Phelps: “No, Nicole, that’s touché.”
Christian, in the midst of setting up a Dada (art that purposefully has no purpose) sculpture for class: “This thing doesn’t even have a point.”
Me: “That’s the point—it’s not supposed to have a point. That’s what Dada is.”
Christian: “Yeah, but there’s not even a not-theme to it.”
Me, trying to help a student: “Okay, what does a musician do?”
Nicole: “Magic tricks?”
Me, sighing: “No, that’s a magician.”
“When I went into the superhero business I needed an alias, but my mind was blank. So I asked my mom and she suggested Rampage.”
– One student talking about a superhero character he created; I wonder if Superman’s mom picked out his name, too?
Nicole: “Do step-sisters count as siblings?”
Nicole: “Do dogs count?”
“Is Madagascar by China?”
– Overhearing a student asking a question in a classroom as I roamed the hallways during my prep time.
Some failed similes and metaphors by my creative writing students:
“You are like a tape worm, because you eat all of my food.”
“You are like a fat guy, because you are so lazy.”
“You are strong, because you work out.”
“You are dumb, because you don’t study or try.”
“You are a wizard, always surprising and you go to Hogwarts and all that.”
“Like State Farm, you are always there.”
“You are a VCR, hard to program, but you record FOX.”
Kandace Blake: “Where is Virginia Beach? Like, what state is it in?”
“Transcendentalists still exist today. There are many, like the conversationalists, who protect lands so that companies won’t knock the trees down.”
– Garrett, on chatty environmentalists
Q: What is the purpose of the Berlin Wall?
A: To separate England and China
– An old question on one of Becky’s cultural literacy quizzes.
A question on a worksheet I handed out to go along with a documentary about slavery: “What do you notice about the way the slaves talk in the movie?”
Derrick’s answer: “The slaves all talked about work, and their English ain’t very good.”
“I thought there were only 24 words in the alphabet?”
– Hailley. Oh Dear Lord.
Me: “Here, the slave mother says that her blood was coursing through the boy’s veins; what do you think she means by that?”
Travis: “Did the kid get a transfusion?”
Hailley: “Mr. Brigham, can my character be a black person who got kicked out of her home for the Trail of Tears?”
Me: “That idea is fine, but there weren’t any black people on the Trail of Tears. They were Indians.”
Hailley: “Indians aren’t black people?”
“Haikus are awesome,
But sometimes they don’t make sense.
– One of Landon’s many witty t-shirts
“I’m lactose intolerant; I don’t eat meat.”
Yup, I’m going to miss these kids. Have a great summer everybody!