Thursday, October 18, 2007
thank goodness for tenure moment of the week
My throat is fried from having talked non-stop for nearly thirteen hours yesterday, my back sore from spending four hours perched on a backless cafeteria stool, and my brain mush from lack of sleep and general overworkedness. Over in classroomland, my freshmen have been working on varied sentence construction and things have been a bit dry, and so I - in my infinite wisdom - decide to scrap the planned lesson in favor of letting them go as nuts as my anxious, respectful, anal-retentive freshmen can get by having them re-write fairy tales, incorporating description and varied sentence construction. And nuts they go - obsessing over wording and the minutest details of an assignment that I dreamed up ten minutes before class because frankly, I was too tired to teach. Actually, they were really quite adorable.

Afterward, I start reading some of their creations aloud. 27 sweet, attentive little faces smile up at me – the authors giddy and shaking with embarrassed pride - as I start reading the first offering, titled “The Really, Really Ugly Duckling.” It’s to a silent, expectant room that I read:

“Once there was a really, really ugly duckling. It got it from its mama. In fact, Mama was ugly, papa was ugly and all seven babies were ugly too. But Fugly - with his jacked-up teeth, squinty eyes and lime green feathers - well he was just plain uuuuuuuugly. Which is why they called him Fugly…

[And rather than quote the entire story for you, I’ll stop to summarize. Basically, Fugly’s family is poor and can’t afford to buy him a paper bag to wear over his head. He’s crying over his predicament when his sexy, bikini-clad fairy godmother (who’s also a duck) suddenly drives up in a Hummer and grants him his wish. Now able to cover his fugly face, he’s finally content, and so fast forward to the final bit when…]

... tears of joy ran down from under Fugly’s new paper bag. Finally happy, he looks up at his fairy godmother and says, “Thank you godmotherduck. Thank you!”

And now, try saying the word “motherduck” out loud. If you can get through it without a terribly embarrassing mispronunciation, then good on you, buddy. You’re a better person than I.

My points - such as they are - are that 1) I should really lessen the pace when I speak, 2) to a 9th grader, getting your English teacher to accidentally say the word “motherf#$k” in front of the entire class is about the funniest thing ever, and 3) once again, I find myself comforted by the sweet, sweet institution that is “tenure.”


Blogger Mrs. White said...

I guess this post in its original form had the word "ducking" instead of "duckling." My husband brought it to my attention and said it was confusing so I fixed it. Actually, I was typing up what my students wrote, so they probably spelled it "ducking" afterall, which kinda makes the whole thing a bit funnier in my opinion. But, admittedly, confusing for the reader I'd have to imagine.

So, sorry. Me sleepy. Me to take a motherducking nap now...

Blogger Wife said...

Hehe! That sounds like an excellent way to spend the day after conferences. And I feel like I would have done the same thing, so you're not alone ;).

Blogger tommmmmmmy said...

If it makes you feel better, I once mispronounced "organism" in class and more recently in a resume, left an important letter out of the word "shift." Duck me.

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