Saturday, August 16, 2008


Kids make the oddest statements. Statements that make sense, once you've done some research and figured out what they meant.

I was heading out to do recess duty, and our principal wants me on that playground on time. Teachers live by a bell. A bell rings, you have to be somewhere. Another bell rings, you have to relocate and be somewhere else. Schools are in some ways like little factories in the business of producing workers, and one of those ways is the bell that goes off like a factory whistle. You have to be punched in on time for your shift.

I was heading out to do recess duty, and I had my mind on getting there on time. A student in a third grade classroom next to mine said, "Mr. R., I found out I'm allergic to Shaespeare."

I muttered something quickly like, "What? You're allergic to Shakespeare?" What are you talking about?"

"I'm allergic to Shakespeare."

"Well I gotta go. I have recess duty. I'll talk to you about this later."

And I did. I wanted to know what in tarnation she was talking about. The next day I sought her out and asked her, "What did you mean when you said you were allergic to Shakespeare? Shakespeare the playwright? The guy that writes the plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet?"

"No, Mr. R. Shakespeare. My dog. I'm allergic to Shakespeare."

"Oh. Shakespeare's your dog. I get it now."

This didn't turn out nearly as interesting as I was hoping. Can you see a third grader getting hives and sneezing during Romeo and Juliet? Now that's interesting.

A week earlier, Hannah and I were talking about diets. I have lost over twenty pounds, and I am feeling pretty . . . . . . . . . . . . well, how should I put it. I'm feeling pretty . . . . . . . . . . . . hungry. Hannah and I were talking about diets and she said, "Well I tried to diet, but I can't go without candy or electricity for more than a week."

"What?! What do you mean, Hannah? How can you eat electricity?"

"Oh I don't eat it. I was camping in the Pecos Mountains with my Mom and Dad and we didn't have candy or electricity for a week. It was horrible!"

Kids. They'll make great adults.

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