Prices To Give You An Art Attack

, , , , | | Learning | May 10, 2019

(My school is holding an art fair so we can see how to sell art. There are lots of different types of artists. I go to the one who most closely resembles my art style. I am holding my best piece, which is a name poster. I figured people would want custom name posters, so I hope it will be easy to sell.)

Me: “Hi…”

Artist: “Hello there! Can I see your picture?”

Me: *hands it over* “Um… I know it’s not very good, but I was hoping people might like it enough to buy?”

Artist: “Hmm…”

Me: *talks more because silence makes me nervous* “It’s not like I’m looking for a lot of money, but my family is going through some… things… and I wanted to contribute if only a little… This won’t be a career; I’d only do this until I could get a real.”

Artist: “What did you make this with?”

Me: “Printer paper and some pens.”

Artist: “Well, it’s pretty good. You should probably use a ruler, but otherwise, the design is nice. But the materials are completely unacceptable! The first thing you need to do is go out and buy real pens. Don’t worry; I know where you can buy a set for under $100!”

Me: “Um, that’s not really–”

Artist: “And definitely upgrade your paper! It will be an expensive investment, but it will be worth it! I recommend getting a [fancy type of poster-quality paper].”

(I kind of stopped listening at that point, because she wasn’t listening to me. I didn’t have any money to spend on supplies. I still thanked her, but I left as soon as possible. In a way, she did answer my question; no one would want to buy my name posters.)

The Law Is Terrifying

, , , , , | | Learning | May 10, 2019

The current US story about parents buying their kids into colleges reminded me of my days, years ago, as a high school teacher in a small city. One of the students in my class was from a very well-off family and the younger brother of a boy who had been an excellent student. I and his other teachers expected the new member of the family would follow in the same tradition, but it turned out he was just coasting on his brother’s reputation.

One day in his senior year, his science teacher came to me and told me he’d caught the student dead to rights cheating on a test, and asked if I’d had similar problems. I’d had suspicions about some of his essays but nothing I could prove in the days before Internet plagiarism checkers. We weren’t sure what to do next, so we talked to his guidance counselor.

It turned out we weren’t the first to have suspicions. His foreign language teacher was positive he had gotten translations of the work to copy from, and the guidance counselor questioned his SAT scores. When he took the tests at our school his scores were mediocre, but when he took them at another school where he wasn’t known they went up by over 100 points each. The counselor was sure that the student had paid someone to take them for him.

We planned a meeting of all his teachers the next week to decide on a course of action, but on Monday the guidance counselor told us the student was now going to a private school 30 miles away. Not our problem.

The epilogue was that in the spring the young man was accepted into a very good college, not Ivy League but a small step down, later went to law school, and is now an extremely successful attorney with a lucrative practice. I leave it up to you – did we scare him straight or does this say something about lawyers?

This Realization Wasn’t Built In A Day

, , , , , , | | Learning | May 9, 2019

(I teach grades four and five. On this occasion, I’m talking to them about what’s coming up the next day. Our art lessons this term have been about art through history: cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, etc. Next up is a project on ancient Roman mosaics, but they don’t know that yet. There is also a boy in the class named Roman.)

Me: “Tomorrow should be a pretty awesome day. We have science first thing, and then we’ll be doing some art until recess. I’m really excited about this project; it’ll take a while, but you’re going to end up with something pretty cool.”

Student #1: “What are we going to be doing?”

Me: “It’s a surprise; you’ll find out tomorrow.”

Student #2: “Can you give us a hint?”

Me: “Oh, all right. Well, given that we’ve been studying historical art, your hint is… Roman…” *emphasizes the child’s name and says it slowly* “…might really enjoy this one.”

Students: *silence*

(They didn’t get it! I had to repeat his name twice more before someone went, “Oh, ROME!” They’re a great class, but they’re not always quick on the uptake.)

The Test Is Testing Way Before The Test

, , , , , | | Learning | May 8, 2019

(I’m teaching a high-school government class. As with most teachers, I have a few students who can be stubborn about doing their work, but one especially stubborn girl drives me crazy. This is just one occasion. On Thursday:)

Me: “The test will be tomorrow. For today, we’re going to play a review game to make sure everyone knows the material. You can take notes during the review game, and use those notes on the test. You cannot use your textbook or your regular notes.”

Stubborn Girl: “Why does the test have to be on Friday? Fridays are the worst day for tests. Can’t you change it?”

Me: “Nope. We have to keep to the schedule set by the school.”

Stubborn Girl: “Can we at least use our notes on the test?”

Me: “You can use the notes you take during the review game today, but not the notes you took during the unit.”

Stubborn Girl: “What about our textbook?”

Me: “Nope. Just take notes during the review game, and you’ll have all the answers for the test.”

Stubborn Girl: *trying to be sarcastic* “What if I just write down everything you say today and use that, huh?”

Me: “Perfect! That’s exactly what I want you to do! Let’s start the review game.”

(We play the review game. Naturally, [Stubborn Girl] refuses to take notes. On Friday:)

Me: “Okay, let’s get this test started.”

Stubborn Girl: “You should change the test to Monday so we can study over the weekend.”

Me: “I told you, I can’t do that. Do you have your notes from the review game yesterday?”

Stubborn Girl: “No, because you said we couldn’t use our notes for the test!”

Me: “I said you can’t use your regular notes from the unit, but your review game notes were okay.”

Stubborn Girl: “Well, I didn’t take notes because you said we couldn’t use our notes. Whatever. I guess I’ll just fail the test, then.”

(I had to bite my tongue really hard to keep from making any remarks that might cause her to complain to the principal about me. Not surprisingly, she did fail the test, as well as the class. As a teacher, I obviously don’t like it when students fail my classes, but this girl failing didn’t bother me at all.)

The Saddest Story Ever Told In Elementary School

, , , , | | Learning | May 7, 2019

(I am observing a class of second graders shortly before Valentine’s Day.)

Student: “Who’s Cupid?”

Me: “Well, Cupid is a baby angel who has a bow and arrow, and if he shoots you with it you fall in love.”

Student: “I wish Cupid would shoot my mom so that she’d love my dad again.”

Page 5/1,220First...34567...Last