Friday, September 26, 2008

Close, but not quite

Friday afternoon is a good time for laughter, right? Freshmen are always a good source for that. Case in point...the following story.

We are reading a book about the Holocaust entitled I Have Lived a Thousand Years. The people in the book have recently arrived at Auschwitz (probably just misspelled that...sorry) and are adjusting to life there. The class conversation was about specific examples from the book that can relate to the theme of the strength/resilience of the human spirit. One young woman brought up the part when the author sees a girl in line in front of her menstrating with nothing to stop it. Gross, yes. That led to a converation about other embarrassing situations that the women had to endure. One such situation was when the women had all their hair shaved off (and I do mean ALL, which is an important detail to this story) and then had to undress and go into the showers.

Young male student: "Yea, I didn't understand why they said they shaved their hair and public areas. Why didn't they say "private" areas?"
Young female student(who sits across the room from the young gentleman, so she has to speak up to have him hear her): "It didn't say "public," it said "pubic".
Young man: "Oh...."
Me (while laughing): "And that, everyone, is a perfect example of what a difference one letter can make"

Great laughter erupted all around. I joined in. Really, how can you not laugh at that? Luckily it was right before lunch, so I didn't have to get them calmed down because I'm sure that would've taken a few minutes.

Just thought you might get a kick out of the glimpse into Mrs. McIntyre's room at 11:55 am today.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mac Attack

Don't be fooled by the title of this post. I will not be talking about unusual cravings for greasy food from the golden arches. Instead, today's "glimpse into the underworld" (aka. the English 9 classroom) pertains to nicknames.

Students have a difficult time remembering my last name. It's not just my freshman at MW. My seniors at Bryan and my Boys Town summer school students had the same problem. They just can't seem to remember "Mrs. McIntyre." But nicknames they will remember.

For the first few weeks of school, "Mrs. Mac" was the nickname of choice, but after I pointed out that the teacher next door (Ms. McKenzie) is also often known as "Ms. Mac," it seemed that a new nickname would be in order. Leave it to J., the happy-go-lucky kid who occasionally makes me want to pull my hair out, to come up with the nickname that has seem to have stuck (at least in that class): Mrs. Mac Attack.

Why? I have no idea. But I'm embracing it because it makes the students laugh to hear and say it...and I could certainly be called worse.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Guppies, Part 2

Yesterday was a first for me. I kept C. after class for talking too much. He didn't seem to be responding to my numerous requests to "turn around...stop attention...", so I thought, perhaps, a little visit after class with me might do the trick. At the suggestion of another teacher, I also emailed his mom to tell her that I talked with C. after class about his disruption problem. (Side note: email could be both the best and worst thing ever for confrontation avoid teachers like myself).

When I open my email today, there is a message from C.'s mom. She seemed nice overall. Not really taking my side. Not really taking C.'s side. A bit Switzerland-ish, really. The interesting thing was this: C. seems to have convinced her that his talking problem has to do with his tablemate (who is a talker, I must admit, but they don't really talk to each other that much. In fact, she saves his booty quite often when he hasn't been paying attention) and his left-handedness. Yes, you read correctly. His lefthandedness.

According to mom, C.'s body positioning is affected by his left-handedness, which causes him to be turned towards other people more. At lesat that's what I think she was getting at. The email was rather short, so maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

I almost want to write her back and to say, "Thank you for the response. I will be awarding C. 5 extra credit points on his book report project for creating such a creative response to your inquiry about his talking and for presenting it in what, apparently, was a very convincing matter." Seriously, did she really fall for that?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Teaching freshmen is fun for a variety of reasons. (Wow, can you tell we've been working hard core on writing thesis statements and topic sentences in my classes this week...that is such a formulaic sentence...ha!) Anyway, I digress. Freshmen are fun because they don't take life too seriously. They're fun because they still have a bit of innocence about them. Life has not jaded them too much yet (at least not most of them).

They are also fun because they are a bit gullible. Today one of my students said a curse word until his breath. It wasn't directed at me, but, rather, at a mistake he had made on his paper. This student sits in the front row, about 5 feet from the table where I sit. Let me assure you, his seating placement was not an accident...he's just that kid :) So when I heard him whisper that word under his breath, I whisper back, in that voice where I'm technically whispering but actually talking loud enough to be heard on purpose, "C. what did you say?"

"Umm, oh....poop," he hesitatly replies.

"That's what I thought," I answered.

"How did you hear that?" questions the girl who sits next to C.

"Well," I explain with a very straight face,"in teacher college we have one class where we stand in the front of the room and other students sit in the back and whisper things and we try to hear what they are saying."


Unfortunately, as most of you know, I'm not a good liar, so I could only let her be in awe for a couple of seconds before I admited, "No, but I think it's awesome that you believed me."

I turn back to the papers I was grading with a smile on my face. Thank you, gullible freshmen, for giving me a little dose of laughter to carry me through to the end of third block.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Maybe it was the sunshine today. Or maybe it was conversations with coworkers who really care. Or maybe it was a big hug from my rock of a husband. Or maybe it was just a great night's sleep after a good cry, but today is definately looking up. Just wanted you to know :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Second Thoughts

I do not like days filled with second thoughts. I do not like wondering if I've made the right decision. I do not like feeling like I may just give up before I get this whole thing figured out. I do not like feeling like there is no one to ask for help. I do not like feeling stupid and inadequate. No, I do not like days of second thoughts.