What Happens in Class, Doesn’t Stay in Class IX


  • Claudel spent a week forcing students to take mock exams and recruited me to do five hours of proctoring. I got antsy an hour and a half in because I’m a fast reader and had only brought one book, and was about ready to stab myself with my pencil. France, please don’t make your high schoolers take five-hour exams…or anyone, ever.
  • Discussing appearances in the workplace and in general with a student:
    • Him: “I don’t think I’m the best-looking guy in the world, but I think I am handsome. Being handsome helps.”
    • Me: “Has being handsome helped you?”
    • Him: “No.”
    • Well, at least he admitted it.
  • There’s nothing like quietly screaming in the corner while J tells a class that you never put an article in front of “next” or “last.” Or when a teacher thinks that the sentence “I’m looking forward to the spectacle” is incorrect since “spectacle” means “glasses.” (There’s too much grammar nerd/writing tutor in me.)
  • Jn had asked me to prepare a presentation on Hitchcock, but the projector wasn’t working, so he told me to go ahead and start. Unfortunately, my PowerPoint was on the computer he was trying to fix, so I was note-less. But I somehow managed to start extemporaneously BSing the lesson without panicking—sixth-grade-me would’ve been so proud. Still, I’ve never been more relieved than when he finally got the projector to work.
  • A student realized they didn’t put enough blanks on the board for Hangman, so they added another one, saying, “There is a letter who is missed.” Somehow, that sounds much cuter.
  • Ml told me to come up with a Prohibition-related activity, so I gave the kids a list of items like eggs, oranges, syringe, and baby carriage, and told them to smuggle alcohol into a speakeasy. Some of the students figured out to use the syringe and replace the egg innards with alcohol, while others said to inject the alcohol into the baby and make the baby drunk—I worry for those kids.
  • An actual quote from one of my students: “We’re going to play Rock, Paper, Scissors like men.”
  • One student, attempting to English: “This is not ça du tout.”
  • A student saw me standing outside the classroom and immediately lit up, saying, “Ah, j’avais forget!” and later asked if the class could throw me a party.
  • Me: “True or false? If you can successfully hack Facebook, they will pay you $500.”
    • K: “Can someone explain what she said in French? Émilie?”
    • Émilie: (in French) “You get $500 if you enter.”
    • K: (in French): “Enter into what?”
    • Émilie: (in French): “Enter into someone.”
    • K and I attempted to remain straight-faced, succeeded for two seconds, and then promptly dissolved into laughter.
  • While trying to get Mg’s class to guess “astronaut” in response to the black story, “A man was just doing his job when his suit was torn, and he died three minutes later,” Mg hinted, “Think about what his job is.” One kid guessed, “Gangster?”



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