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?”
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.
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!
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!