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!
Ralph: “I really want to be in Mr. Spartan this year. I think I’m going to run some smut campaigns this year to make sure it happens.”
Me: “You mean smear campaigns?”
Ralph: “Oh my God, not smut campaigns! That’s not what I meant!”
Me: “So the assignment is to read a book outside of class, and then do a ten-question Q&A between you and one of the characters.”
Adam, who is known for asking questions just to hear the sound of his own voice: “What if the book we read doesn’t have any characters? What should we do?”
Me, slightly annoyed: “Are you reading a book without a character right now?”
Adam: “Well, no. Just wondering what to do if that’s what I pick.”
Me, after a beat: “What book have you ever read that didn’t have a character?”
Adam, looking as though he’s just discovered something profound: “Huh.”
Weeks later, Adam, unprompted: “Cookbooks!”
Adam: “Cookbooks don’t have characters.”
Me: “So you’re reading a cookbook for your book report?”
Adam: “Well, no…”
Me: “What about you, Filip, are there any slangs you can share from Poland?”
Filip, a Polish exchange student still struggling with English: “My mother, she call me this thing when I am little. She says… you are ***ch.”
Class: (stunned silence).
Me, after a beat: “Oh, PEACH!”
Filip, realizing: “Yes, petch.”
From art teacher Traci Manning:
Student A: “Can’t we just slap some paint together like Leonardo DiCaprio?”
Me: “If you mean Leonardo DaVinci, he actually made very detailed artwork.”
Student A: “I don’t know artists.”
Student B: “You named an actor.”
Billy: “Is ‘ellepsy’ a word? Like when you have seizures?”
Me: “No, you’re thinking of ‘epilepsy,’ but you were close.”
Billy: “What’s the word I’m thinking of, then?”
Me: “Well, there’s elliptical, which means to move in the shape of an ellipse.”
Me: “Ellipsis? Like the fancy word for dot-dot-dot?”
Cam: “I thought Ellipsis was a Greek god?”
Me, trying to help a kid get to answer: “Okay, let’s start with something easy. Name the summer months.”
From Kirby, the Foods teacher:
A kid in my advisory, a freshman in high school, tells me he needs to leave two minutes early to go take his meds. I give him the okay when we’re chatting at 11:40.
He says, “So I can go ahead and go?”
Me: No. You may leave two minutes early.
Him: So in two minutes?
Me: No. You may leave two minutes early.
Him: So, what time?
Me: Well, we get out of advisory at 11:50 and you can leave 2 minutes early. What time is that?
Me: No. The class will leave here at 11:50 and you leave 2 minutes before that. What time will you be leaving?
Me: No. Try again.
Him: Um…… Like 11:45?
Me: Specifically, what time are you allowed to leave?
Him: Okay, I’ll figure it out.
Me: No, let’s figure it out right now. Two minutes before the clock says 11:50, what time will it say?
Me: That’s what time you may leave.
Guess what…. it’s now 11:48 and the kid is still in his seat.
Me: “So what are some of the things that concerned the people of Salem about the Proctors?”
Ace: “They don’t ever go to Church, and they work on the Rabbith.”
Me, thinking I misheard: “The what?”
Ace: “The Rabbith, or whatever.”
From Frau Meissner, the German teacher:
Today in class Ralph was lying on a yoga mat (No one really knew why) and says (out of the blue, of course): “Somedays I’d really like to be a seal. But I’d need to be a vegetarian seal because I hate fish.”
Cam’s test essay about primary sources: “For example, Thanksgiving is a happy time with family, but the part they leave out is Christopher Columbus and his men went to Plymouth and didn’t get along with the native people, in the end killing many of them.”
Luke just asked me if I wanted his paper typed in “Catholic Roman” font.
Charles, giving his how-to speech: “You also can add whipped cream, but I don’t like whipped cream. And by that I mean I forgot it at home.”
Tevin: “Have you ever been stuck in quicksand?”
Me: “No. You?”
Tevin: “Yeah, I’m lucky my dad taught me how to get out of it.”
Me: “No kidding. Where did this happen?”
Tevin: “Arizona. We were riding dirtbikes and I stepped off to take a piss and walked right into quicksand.”
Me, after a beat: “I’m glad you’re okay.”
Brian: “Then, after years of arguing, the two sides finally went to court and had a… I don’t know, what do you call it? A sue-off?”
Luke, barging into my empty room and making a beeline directly toward me: “Well, I’m on Step 2 of understanding orbits.”
Adam, asking for clarification on paper citations: “What do we do if there are multiple citations in a single paragraph?”
Me: “You make a citation every time you use a source, even if there are several in a single paragraph.”
Adam: “What do you do if…”
Me, exhausted by Adam asking questions just for the sake of asking questions: “I’ll tell you what, Adam. You go type your paper, and if something pops up that confuses you, I’ll come help you out individually. Sound good?”
Me: “Now the next thing you do is…”
Adam: (Raises his hand).
Me: “Yes, Adam?”
Adam: “What happens if we want to use two different sources together? Like we’re going to use both of them in the same sentences.”
Me, just answering because why fight it: “Try to avoid that. Do one sentence, cite, then another sentence, then another citation.”
Adam: “Okay. I already knew all of this, I’m just asking so everybody else can understand.”
From Becky Meissner’s English 3 class: From the Puritan compare/contrast essay: “Edwards “Sinners” uses the pathos mindset where as you do something wrong ya go to hell.”
From Luke’s winding, existential argumentative essay about using science to prove God is real: “Well consider this, if God comes from an infinite dimension, could the angels, Lucifer, and the demons be from a dimension lower but still connected to God’s? Could that be a sign of a trans-dimensional war?”
(I have no idea what he’s talking about.)
From one of Frau Meissner’s students: “Both fear and encouragement are both tip-top ways to persuade others to do what is needed.”
Quicksand: When I graduate, I’m moving to Nevada.
Mr. Hewitt: Oh yeah, why?
Quicksand: They don’t have exotic animal laws, so I can own a wolf. Or a bear.
Here’s the exact line where I knew Gabe had plagiarized his argumentative essay about why Ford is better than Chevy: “I might’ve fared better back in college in my car’s successor.”
Luke, to Frau Meissner, the German teacher: “So, you just teach German?”
Meissner: “No, I teach English, too.”
Luke: “So you’re fluent in English, too?”
Me: “Hi, Luke. How’s it going?”
Luke: “Well, I figured out delta velocity. So that’s something.”
Brian just very seriously referred to a brothel as a “Ho Bar.”
Larry was reading Hamlet out loud when he came to the word “circumscribed.” I’ll let you guess what word he said instead.
Maria comes in and asks, “Mr. Brigham, there was something we had to do at the bottom of our letter. What was that?”
Me: “You sign it.”
Maria: “Oh, okay.” (Leaves).
Luke, showing me his book project drawings for the 9th time: “Is it alright if I colored?”
Hewitt: “There’s nothing wrong with being colored, Luke. It’s not the 1950s anymore.”
Adam, after reading the word “Polack” incorrectly during Hamlet, looks to the Polish foreign exchange student, apologizes to him for some reason, and then goes on reading.
Quicksand: “Well, I know the career I’m going to have when I grow up now.”
Hewitt: “Oh really? What?”
Quicksand: “Wolf handler. They make $60,000-90,000 a year.”
Hewitt: “Yeah, but there’s also a 100% chance you’re going to get mauled by a wolf.”
Luke whips a playing card across the room for no reason, then says: “I hit my personal best for speed the other day.”
Me: “What? Throwing playing cards?”
Luke: “Yup. Clocked it at 90 mph.”
Me, trying not to laugh but failing: “How on earth did you come to that number? Did someone time you?”
Luke: “Nope. I timed myself with my phone. I threw a card approximately 20 feet in .15 seconds, which comes out to approximately 103 mph, but I may have lagged in my timing, so I rounded down to 80-90 mph.”
(I checked with the math teacher. His calculations were, surprisingly, kind of close, though she doubted his ability to throw anything 20 feet in 0.15 seconds).
From Kirbs, the Foods teacher:
Sherman: “I’m pretty sure I’m about to sneeze soon, so I don’t know if I should actually cook today.”
Q: “What, if any, book should be banned from school libraries?”
Student: “I think that any book using profound language should be banned from the school’s library.”
Adam was trying to be witty in class, so he drops this aphorism that nobody had ever heard before: “Wise words kill pretty birds.” I was confused, so I started making up random aphorisms for him, too. Little words of wisdom that didn’t make any damn sense: “Well, you know what they say, Adam: Shallow waters make for hungry veterans.” and “It’s hard to be a black single mother when you’re a white male teen.”
Corey, when asked to write a sentence using the expressing “Catch 22”: “The gun that shot the man was a Catch 22.”
Cam: “Brigs, what does ‘apart’ mean?”
Cam: (Blank stare).
Me: “It means ‘not together.’ How do you not know what ‘apart’ means?”
Kevin’s sentence in which he was asked to correctly use the word “unanimous”: “The man received a voicemail but he couldn’t tell who left it because the caller was unanimous.”
Q: What is the muscle under your lungs that helps to control your breathing?
Carrie’s Answer: “The diagram.”
Adam: “I think I may have been unintentionally racist in my essay.”
(Turns out he was unsure whether or not he could refer to Crooks from “Of Mice and Men” as a “black man.”)
From Hewitt: I was just small-talking Sherman in the hall and mentioned he was sporting a fresh fade. He countered with, “Oh you like my haircut? It’s like Brad Pitt’s in Ocean’s 12.”
Freshman in Kirbs’ advisory: “Did what’s-his-name get eggnogerated today?”
Other kid: “Well, there’s no eggnog involved, but Trump is now our president.”
Kid: “Hey Charlie, did you go paintballing this weekend?”
Charlie, deadpan: “No, I had a lot of sex.”
Catherine just spelled “predestination” in her Puritanism essay like this: “pre-densendation.”
Charlie, punching a door: “I’m going to KILL Eddie. He gave my girlfriend chlamydia!”
Mr. Hewitt: “Well… at least it’s treatable.”
From Kirby, the Family & Consumer Science teacher:
Kid: “Ms. Kirby, do you have any snacks?”
Me: “Sure, I have some dried cherries you could have.”
Kid: “You mean like raisins?”
Me: “Well, kind of… except they’re cherries.”
Kid: “So they don’t grow them like raisins?”
Me: “Well, a grape turns into a raisin. A dried cherry is just a cherry that they dry out.”
Kid: “WHAT?! A raisin was a grape?! I thought they had raisin farms and they just grew raisins. Oh my gosh, a raisin has been a grape my entire life?”
So Charlie wrote his argumentative essay on the (unapproved) topic of “Water vs. Syrup.” Here are some of the highlights:
“What is the one thing in the world that all living things need to survive, and the one thing everyone needs to eat pancakes? The answer is water and syrup.”
“The human body is made up of over 30% water. This water contributes to the weight of a human being. Syrup is much denser than water itself, so if the water weight of humans was replaced with syrup then the weight of the human would go up.”
“I support the use of water over the use of syrup for hydration.”
“Cleaning is something that most people do on a daily basis, whether it’s the walls, floors, your body, a car or the dishes. Doing the dishes would never get done using sticky sugary syrup.”
“Back when the great States were still colonies under the crown of England, the rebels used to take syrups and cover tax collectors with it so the feathers would stick, proving my point that water is much more useful for cleaning purposes.”
The following the dramatic conclusion to Sam’s slave narrative, entitled, “Cotton White, the Albino Slave”:
What I saw before me amazed me. A mountain that seemed to touch the sun. I stood there are admired this mountain for as long as I could until I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. The men who approached me were bald and wearing robes.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“We are the monks of the Fried Chicken Order,” one of them replied.
“I am Cotton White from Georgia of the Americas,” said I who ate the fly.
“We would be honored to have a child of the snow join us,” said the other.
“Well, I ain’t got nowhere to go, so I guess I’ll come,” I replied cautiously.
After many days of traveling with these men, we finally reached a building which they called a Monastery. It was here that I spent the rest of my days learning how to meditate and other useful skills.
Ned: “My dad taught me how to do a one-handed cartwheel.”
Vic: “My dad taught me how to abandon your problems and just never think about them ever again.”
Jeremy: “My mom grounded me because I have a D in here, so I told her I wouldn’t be celebrating Mother’s Day.”
Me: “That’s harsh, buddy.”
Jeremy: “Yeah, she kept showing me pictures of all her friends on Facebook getting all these flowers and stuff, but that’s what she gets, ya know?”
Ned, unprompted: “What’s the most disgusting injury you’ve ever seen.”
Me: “I’m not sure I want to answer that question.”
George, ripping on Sherman’s Hawaiian shirt: “Hey Sherman, where’d you get that shirt, Tommy Bahama?”
Sherman, stoic: “No, I got it from Tommy Yo-Mama.”
We told Frau Meissner, who has Ralph three times a day, to start keeping track of all the ridiculous things he says during class. The results were as expected:
8:25 – Frau, what’s a mucus plug?
12:30 – I’m really good at being limp.
12:37 – I’m literally a Chihuahua. I get all worked up and then I shake.
12:45 – Is it called a mullet in German, too?
12:48 – This has been my least favorite school year. Because I’ve had to work.
1:08 – Now all my snot is in the other nostril.
1:13 – Why? It’s all over a kebab.
1:14 – I’m thirsty.
1:14.30 – I might have Hepatitis C.
1:20 – Oh my God, I just totally need a huge white mocha Frappuccino.
1:26 – Jif is my favorite peanut butter. So creamy.
1:30 – That’s an entire chunk of ice. Or a cockroach.
1:34 – Does this mean I’m sexy if I eat Döner?
1:38 – Nice tacos!
1:42 – I’m dehydrated. It’s just a feeling.
1:43 – We live in the ghetto of the Olympia District.
1:44 – I think I’ve worked pretty well today. I got more done than earlier in the semester.
Two from art teacher Art teacher Traci Manning. Both of these zingers came in the same day:
Student: “Where does this short stick go?”
Traci: “That’s called a ruler.”
Student: “They call him Junior, but his name is actually Robert. I don’t know why they call him Junior. Is Junior another name for Robert?”
The following are from Bekah’s historical narrative, an assignment in which students were asked to construct fictional narratives made credible by adding historical research. Bekah chose to create a female taxi driver in New York during the 1920’s:
“Susanna Shetlann was born in Staten Island, NY on March 13, 1975.”
“Susanna had gotten into a bad car accident and rolled her car three times. She never raced again after that but her love for cars was more present than ever so she became a taxi driver for JFK for the state of New York.”
“One day a man named Joseph Longer hailed her taxi. She stopped, but when she picked him up, he laughed. He was on his cell phone when he said, ‘I just hailed this taxi with a woman in it. Isn’t that strange? Women have to stay at home and take care of children. That’s the only reason we have them, right?’”
“’Excuse yourself, ma’am, but I’ll have you know I am the most well-known man on Wall Street. I go by the name Jay Gatsby!’”
Ralph: “Some girls need to buy bigger shorts because their thighs look like someone popped open a tube of cinnamon rolls.”
And that, dear readers, is the conclusion of this year’s student quotes. We’ll do this dance again in a year. Here’s to another great round of educating the brilliant and hilarious youth of America!