Wise beyond their years…sometimes

On Fridays I like to share science-related current events with my students at the beginning of class.  Last week I shared a story about the Asian Carp, an invasive species threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem.  The article suggested that if carp were to become a more common food source in the American diet, than a fishing industry could develop that would help alleviate the problem.

To which one of my students responded by putting up his hand and saying:

“Oh great Ms. Kaufman.   There’s a really American solution to the problem….we’ll just eat our way out of it!”

I am a living lab.

I am a pregnant science teacher.  Seven and a half months pregnant to be exact and I’m studying the human body with my 7th graders.  Lately I’ve been referring to myself as the example a lot.  This definitely gets their interest but I can tell they’re simultaneously horrified.  I do tend to gesture to my mid-section when explaining, for example, how the baby and I could have a different blood type or that being pregnant can increase your blood pressure or respiratory rate.

I can see the fear in their eyes.  Please don’t let her say uterus, they’re thinking.

Oh god and whatever you do, please don’t let her say vuh, vuh, they can’t even think it.

And I wouldn’t.  I don’t teach the reproductive system.  Still I enjoy watching them squirm at the possibility.

Distracted Teacher Strikes Again

In my meager defense, this conversation took place during a study hall while I was probably answering email, grading papers, and planning lessons simultaneously.  

Sweet male student age 13: (shyly) Uh, Ms. Kaufman what do you want for Christmas?

Me: (grouchily) I’m Jewish! 

Student: Ok, for Hanukah then? (Ok, at this point it should be clear the student is asking because he wants to get me a gift.  But I’m so distracted, I think he’s just making holiday conversation)

Me: Oh, I don’t know I told my in-laws maybe a massage or something.

Student: Uh…..do you like coffee?

Me: No, I don’t do caffeine.

Student: Oh

Several minutes later I figured out why he was asking and turned beet red and managed to stammer out that I liked tea and books and homemade cards best of all.  Clueless, fabulously clueless.

When my job is funny

Today in my 7th grade life science class we made models of our digestive tract using long pieces of plastic tubing.  Upon seeing a student lift up the end of the model and put it to his mouth to inflate it with air, I smiled and said:

“Please don’t blow into your rectum.”

Heh heh heh.  Who’s the middle schooler now?

September in July

This is not a reference to the recent spate of rainy weather, but rather to the horrible dream I had last night.  I’m not normally a dream sharer but this kind of neuroses usually doesn’t strike me until late August or early September.  In the dream every single difficult student I’ve had in the last 5 years was in my class.  I was teaching math (not a strong point).  It was the first day of school, the power was out, I had neglected to give my homeroom kids their schedules and I was wearing my pajamas…tops only.