I’m getting ready to head off for Chicago tomorrow, so I figured I’d round up a couple things that weren’t really long enough or interesting enough to be whole posts. Maybe putting them in a post next to each other will increase their collective glory. It makes sense in my head. Proximity=Awesomeness.
Whatever, let’s just call it an experiment and move on.
Sometimes, I love my students. They can surprise you.
Example No. 1: Last week, I finally finished grading some papers from my composition class to hand them back. This one was a short How-To paper. One of my students wrote about bathing a newborn. At the end of the introduction came this sentence (more or less):
When I had a child, I didn’t know how to do this, so I’m writing about this because you, Mr. Davis, will soon be having a newborn to bathe.
She got an A. Not because of that—it was an A paper—but that certainly made my day.
Example No. 2: Another of my students in my class last night brought a baby gift for my wife and me. It wasn’t something huge, just a small gift bag of baby shampoo and lotion, diaper rash cream, and a couple little stuffed animals, but it was a really nice gesture and we really appreciated it.
My students like this are incredible. Not because they buy stuff for me or glad-hand me in a paper. It’s because those gestures show that the teacher-student relationship can still be reciprocal.
Sometimes it can feel pretty one-sided. At a small school like this, the emphasis is on the care we show our students. I make a concerted effort to know everyone’s name, even though I have about 200 students in my seven classes. In the fall, it’s even more. But despite all that, I have students—probably a quarter of them—who don’t even know my name, one of maybe four teachers they have that semester. I have students who don’t even seem to care about their own success, which makes it hard for me to care about it. I have students who, in that same How-To paper, blatantly copy something off the internet and turn it in without even looking at it. When a male student includes something about how he used this skill when his husband* was out of town on a business trip, I start to wonder how dumb they think I am.
*Maybe in other parts of the country, but that doesn’t fly in this part of Oklahoma.
But then some students remind you why you do this, that sometimes they actually recognize that you’re a real person who doesn’t live in the computer. And you decide to get up the next morning and grade more papers.
A few weeks ago, I went online and bought Karli a pregnancy pillow. She loves that thing.
So, apparently, do the dog and cat.
I believe all three of them would provide glowing recommendations on Amazon if they a) had fingers to type with or b) cared enough to do Amazon recommendations.
I’m not quite so high on it. More on this to come.
Before being pregnant, Karli had never had heartburn. A few weeks back, she told me it felt like her throat was on fire.
Karli, writhing on the bed like she’d been stabbed: “What is this?”
Me, reading my super-supportive pregnancy husband book: “That’s heartburn. It sucks, right?”
Karli: “Take it away; I don’t want it.”
Me: “I’m not the one who gave it to you.”
Karli, to her belly: “Squatch, when you come out, I’m going to poke you in the esophagus. See how you like it.”
Me, to her belly: “And put thumbtacks in your squished-up peas. Although the peas might be their own punishment.”
Best. Parents. Ever.
I still haven’t gotten that life insurance yet, and now that I’m about to board a plane, Karli’s not happy with me about it. She’s terrified that the plane’s going to go down and she’ll be stuck with Squatch all by her lonesome.
So here’s my internet plea to any Richie-Rich types who stumble across my blog:
If I die in a horrific plane crash this week, please take care of my wife and baby. Financially. Not in the carnal way. You make a move on my wife and my Squatch, I. WILL. HAUNT. YOU. But some money for them would be cool.