Monday, September 01, 2008

Back to...

Summer's over. Tomorrow I return to my other life, the one where my blood pressure rises and I come home at night spitting out monosyllables while rubbing crackers with a dirty index finger. Yes, tomorrow, it's school. So, if you'll excuse me, I'll take a minute here and practice one of my favorite head games:

Student: "This is a stupid assignment."
Me: "Yes, I suppose you might look at it that way."
Student: "I'm not going to do it."
Me: "Okay."
Student: "Fine."
----long pause----
Student: "What happens if I don't do it?"
Me: "That's up to you."
Student:"You're the one who grades me."
Me: "I didn't say I wouldn't grade you, I just can't tell you what will happen to you if you don't do it."
Student: "What?"
Me: "Beg your pardon?"
Student:"So, if I don't do it, you'll fail me."
Me: "Absolutely."
Student: "But it's a stupid assignment!!!!"
Me: "Okay."
Student: "So why should I have to do it????"
Me: "You don't."
Student: "But you'll fail me."
Me: "Only if you don't do it."
Student: "You suck. Why can't you be fair?"
Me: "I don't know what you want from me. If you don't want to do it, then don't. It's up to you. I have no control over any of this."
Student: "But you're the one giving me this assignment."
Me: "Define give."
Student: "What?"
Me: "Well, if you say so."
Student: "Wait. What????!!"
Me: "How's everyone doing class, any questions???"

I can already see I'll be taking my blood pressure medication before the end of the month.


L.A. Mitchell said...

I can hear the whining from here :)

I hope you have a great school year filled with brilliant, respectful, young minds.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Thanks, L.A. Oh, and by the way, if you think this is whining, wait until the school year really gets underway.

Lisa said...

You have my utmost admiration and respect for walking through that door! As much as I consider education of our young to be at the top of my list of critical obligations, I could never do it and my hat is off to all of you who do.
Thank you Stewart.

Vwriter said...

This reads a lot like "At the Mountains of Madness."

Or, perhaps, "Stewart Sternberg, Reanimator!"

spyscribbler said...

Hah! You've got it easy, buster. Try getting them to do assignments when there is no grade!


spyscribbler said...

PS: Loved your spy thriller. :-)

Sidney said...

My heart goes out to you. Hope it goes well.

Stewart Sternberg said...

lisa, thank you. I never saw myself being a teacher, now it's hard to imagine myself doing anything else. Maybe King. King I could do.

Reanimator, Rick. Definitely Reanimator.

Spy, I don't motivate with grades. I motivate with fear. I like to stand outside someone's house at midnight and spell their first name over and over and over again. Until the police make me go home.

Sydney, thanks. I am home from day one and so far, so good.

SQT said...

I'd love to see you in action.

Stewart Sternberg said...

SQT, thanks for the compliment. Maybe I should do a video of one of my classes. Full Press Stewart

Aimless Writer said...

I have a lot of respect for teachers. I couldn't do it without smacking the little darlin's.
Have a great year!

Vwriter said...

Do the "Full Press Stewart" video of you working a class. That would be worthy of YouTube.

Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Stewart. I have preschool, 3rd, 4th,5th, and high school this year. Lordy, Lordy, I'm already chewing my fingernails. When is fall break???

Zoe Winters said...

hahahaha you're good at the head games aren't you? lmao! That is hilarious.

Kate S said...

Aw, sorry if my daughter gave you a hard time. ;)

Anonymous said...

you seem as profound as i was on my 15th birthday. congrats.

and congrats on the mind games you play with pre-teens, i hope at least one of them lands on your porch, in a couple of years, with a shotgun, to play some mind games of his own. i can hear the whining from here :)

i hate to judge people based on a couple hundred words, but it just seems so easy with some people. that's just too bad, considering they're teachers. i just hope my kids will land with people that are actually able to answer questions instead of acting like teenagers.