20 February 2012

New Toothbrush

For Christmas I asked for something that no one should, could, or would want in their stocking: an electric toothbrush. No one but me- and members of the FDA- that is. But alas, I got a Bahamian cruise instead. Ineffably heartbroken that I had to spend four days in the Caribbean with my family instead of years of clean teeth, I did the only thing one can do in this situation- I asked for an electric toothbrush for my February birthday. February is the best month for a birthday; like a clean-up batter clearing house in baseball, a February birthday can totally clean up house for all the gifts you never got or even thought of in December.
Anyway, for my birthday I finally received the Sonicare toothbrush I had been dreaming of since I heard the words "You should get an electric toothbrush."
Admittedly, the toothbrush is intimidating, like a first date with the granddaughter of the late Kim Jong Il. It took me two weeks just to open the package because I was so scared of the assembly required. It then took me another evening of staring at the plastic casing to figure out how to open it. (I ended up sending a fusillade of scissor cuts bombinating across the packaging.  I sensed the wraith of a UPS man cringing in his truck around the corner.) It's been almost two weeks since my birthday and I still haven't tried the toothbrush. I finally acquiesced and assembled the toothbrush to the point where I can charge it, but that's as far as I've come. Every time I look at the toothbrush there on the corner of my countertop I have a histrionic phantasmagoria filled with images including stodgy toothpaste getting splattered all over my face and mirror. When the green light stopped flashing- indicating the charging process was complete- I gave a slight titter, not exactly sure if I should be execrated at the news or ecstatic; at this time I don't remember the specific emotion that followed, all I remember was being enervated at the lurid cessation of green.
People have done nothing but speak good things about these toothbrushes, so I probably don't have anything to fear. Even still, I've been taking soporifics at night just to get some sleep because the thought of sticking a whirring, enigmatic, brush into my mouth for two whole minutes is enough to keep the dearest of boyfriends awake during Twilight.
If you've had success with these machines please let me know; if you've had a more plaintive experience, please write a song about it and submit it to Adele.

09 February 2012

There are many things to say about the life of a teacher. There are also many things not to say about the life of a teacher. You could say our lives are filled with sandwich crumbs, but most people wouldn't; not because it's not true, but because it's random and practically illiterate. You could also say our lives are hilarious, and hopefully that will be demonstrated with these stories. While the inspiration for them is accurate, I have no doubt but that I'll elaborate satisfactorily with them.
Yesterday I asked a student where his notebook was. His response? In his backpack.
'Well, what's it doing there?'
'It's resting Mr. Bennett. It's really tired after all the note taking we did yesterday.'
I mean, that's just a funny response. How could I keep from laughing?
On the same day I had a student wad up a piece of paper from the back row, throw it in the direction of the trashcan, watch it veer to the side from the breeze of the open window, bounce off the back of the head of an unsuspecting girl sitting in the front row, ping off the wall, and land in the trash can. It was an unbelievable shot and I witnessed the whole account. He looked up at me in amazement and I wanted to scold him for throwing paper and for hitting the girl who was actually paying attention, but the shot was so impressive all I could do was give him a high five and say to the girl, 'Too bad your head was turned, you just missed an incredible shot!'
I try to add as much humor and good naturedness into my classroom as possible, while still staying within the bounds of a respectable learning environment. It's a very tricky feat to accomplish.
In one particular lesson I was using thumbtacks as random objects to teach about ratios. I asked for two volunteers to come up (7th graders loooove to volunteer in class). When they arrived at the forefront of the room I spread the thumbtacks across the floor and asked them to take off their shoes and have a race across the spikes. One of my willing students knew I was kidding and just rolled her eyes. The other one, however, thought  I was being serious (which really begs the question about what this kid thinks is going to happen when he comes to class every day). He looked up at me in disgust and said, "No Thanks Mr. Bennett. I didn't realize that's what we were volunteering for; someone else can take my place" and then sat down. Man, these kids are hilarious.