Seeth, part two

Less anyone think that Seeth’s lack of geography skills was his only shortcoming, the following story is among my favorites

One day I was attempting to teach Biology II.  I gave each group six sets of DNA to compare.  One set was from a human, one set was from a chicken, one from a horse, one from a chimp, one from a rabbit, and the final set was from a tuna.  Now, really I expected someone to say something about the chimp. 

I observed Seeth getting red in the face.  He squirmed in seat.  He cleared his throat.  “Ah, here it comes.” I thought

His partner, C, was trying to stomp his feet and saying “Shut up, just shut up.” 

I really was wondering what excuse to not work Seeth was going to offer.  “I don’t appreciate this…” He glared at me.

“Excuse me?” I asked.  C is STANDING on his foot by this point.

“NO, I don’t appreciate this.”  He is red in the face.  “I mean this is made up.”

“Well, of course this is made up.  But, DNA is real. You really have DNA in each and every cell.”

“No, Ms. Boothe, I mean this tuna fish.  Everyone knows this is made up.  It is like that stuff you get at Popeyes.”  Seeth is trying to explain.  C has her head in his hands and is trying to cry.

“Chicken, Seeth?  You think they float chicken in the ocean?  ”  I asked

“NO.  It’s like potato salad.  It’s  like that.” He says

“You think they float potatoes in the ocean and call them tuna?” I am really confused by this point, but I am willing to listen.

“NO.  It’s made up.   It’s like that coal (not cole?) slaw.  It ain’t got coal in it. It’s like they put stuff in a can and call it tuna fish.”  C is almost completely in tears.  Seeth is still sputtering.  C is calling him Jessica Simpson. 

I walked to the projector, fired it up and pulled up a picture of a tuna. 

“Hey, that’s a big fish.” Seeth says.

“Yeah, that’s a tuna…”  I just left it at that


Where is it???

Once I taught a young lad that was a bit of a ditz.  Mom told he would be the next big thing in baseball IF ONLY I WOULD PASS HIM.  I tried tactfully (for me) to explain it takes more than merely passing to make it to the university level.  But, what follows is a true story of one day with Seeth.

Seeth (as usual) had forgotten his baseball uniform, glove, shoes, and everything else that might be useful in a baseball game.  Finally, I relented and allowed him to go to the office and call his mama.  Fifteen minutes later I was just on the verge of making an all call for a missing student. And, what happens?  Seeth knocks on the door.  I stopped teaching and walked to the door. “Boy,  where did you go…South America?” 

Seeth, looks puzzled. I kept thinking “why are you puzzled? You were gone fifteen minutes.”   A few seconds lapse and Seeth replied
“Nope, I went to the coaches’ office in the gym and called my mama.” 

Knowing Seeth, I realized I would not get anywhere trying to explain:  a-why he was only supposed to go to the office, b-why he was not supposed to be in the coaches’ office, and c-why he was supposed to come directly back to class.  No point.  I would have had to explain the same thing to his mama.

Sitting in the class was Seeth’s best friend.  He asked if he could go to the office and let his mom know where to pick him up after the game.  I said that this might be a good idea. 

Seeth’s friend (SR) leaves the room and is gone less than two minutes.  He knocks on the door to be allowed back inside.  I am on the second row trying to help a group answer a question.  Seeth opens the door.  Seeth tries to look grouchy “Boy, where did you go…North America?” 

The air in the room got thin while everyone sucked in a deep breath in horror.  SR says “Buddy, you did know this is North America?”

While plainly Seeth did NOT know this bit of information, he tries to save face.  “Uh, I meant some place more North. You know, like…uh” 

SR, faint but pursuing, “The Artic Circle?” 

Seeth “Yea, that”

Some things are just better not thought about. 


the tale of OB

Years and years (eons) ago I taught at a small school.  A very large school sent us a “gifted/behavioral problem” student. Although 18 he was in the 9th grade. Our principal was determined that we could help him. 

During the first month OB spent his time making inappropriate comments to each and every female that would stand still. Consequently all the females moved far away.  It did not stop him from making loud comments about what he would do for/to them.  

During the second month OB targeted the very proper southern social studies teacher across the hall.  She complained and the principal ignored her.  One day he showed up with a 16 liter coke bottle and two oranges and stuck them inside his pants.  Mrs J screeched!  She told him to “get that out of your pants.”  You can only imagine what statements this brought forth from OB.  Mrs. J ordered him to the office.  The principal ordered OB to take the coke and two oranges from his crotch area.  He told the principal “You come get it…huh huh huh”  Parent had to come get him.

During the next few weeks he attempted to fit himself with a lock in my classroom.  I just moved people away from him and moved so that I could not see him.  I prayed he would get the lock on his C***.  Maybe that would solve the problem.

The last few weeks of his stint at this school…He exposed himself to the entire lunch staff.  Just whipped out whatever was bothering him and yelled that he had something better than the meal. 

The principal through all of this kept trying to ‘save’ him.  HE finally left because we didn’t treat him nicely.

End of story?  Nope.  Anytime the guy down the hall wanted to upset Mrs. J he just rolled an orange at her door.  She would open it and look both ways for BO. We all did…



Years ago I taught a young man that took great pride in the ability to fill up the space underneath any essay question.  He was going to be a great writer.  He told me his gift was this great ability.  Maybe he is a great writer…

I had pounded on the idea of exotic species for a week.  Don’t introduce them into an environment.  No natural predators.  I had great discussions with the entire classroom (except for the genius) about exotic species.  I even informed them that I would give them an essay question about the issue on the quiz.

Day of the test…

I passed out the test.  The gifted writer read the question. Then he started writing. He wrote and he wrote…he filled up a page with his answer.  I guess his thought was that if he filled up the page I would not read the answer.  Wrong.  I love to read.

The question dealt with zebra mussels coming into waterways attached to international ships.  His answer?  It went something like this..

Zebras do not need muscles.  Why are we allowing zebras to work out?  A page about zebra muscles.  His idea went along the lines of don’t put the zebras in the water, then they would not need to work out to get extra muscles.  Swear to goodness.  A whole page.

I passed back the quiz the following day and told him “I said RTQ (read the question).  But, from now on, you need to RTFQ”  The look on his face was priceless. 

I finally said “Read the full question. It explained the issue.”


Mika Molly

Last year someone tossed out a mini-pin near our home.  Although we have a Chihuahua (rescue), a Beagle (rescue), a Shih Tzu, and an aged Boston Terrorist, the mini-pin quickly became part of the household. 

Someone named her Mika Molly after a cabbage patch kid we once owned.  Every night Mika made her way into my lap and barked at anyone that got near me.  Mika established her dominance of my lap, the food bowls, and the front door.  The vet told us that Mini-Pins are very vocal.   Well, that was an understatement.

Every morning Mika twitched all over when she saw me.  She was excited when I came home in the evenings.   I was the alpha (finally) in a house of cast off animals. 

A few weeks ago Mika became ill.  Maybe she was discarded on the side of the road because she was ill or ill-bred.  But, Mika was a loving and gentle puppy.  Mika had to visit the vet several times and then Mika’s kidneys started shutting down.  I called Mr. Boothe and said “Come get Mika and take her to the doctor.  She is dying.” 

Mika made it to the end of the road and did the only quiet thing she has done since we had her.  Mika let out a sigh and passed away.   Mr. Boothe was holding her tiny body when she left this world. 

I hate people that throw away dogs.  Domestic animals don’t survive in the wild or in the country unless they find someone like me to take them in and love them.  And God, it hurts when they go. 


The State of Louisiana

Well, years of education reform in Louisiana and still we are listed as one of the worst states for education in a new study.  Really

1-most of the students I now teach are from fractured homes.  I have no idea who or what to call for help.  Is it any surprise when they don’t care about education?  School is just a place to get a free meal and hang with your friends.  

2-Many of the parents are down-right abusive in their tone when you do manage to call them.  I was told a few weeks ago “I ain’t had no education and I did alright.”   Yes, you are holding a cell phone paid for by the state of Louisiana for welfare recipients.   That would be sad if it were not so funny.  

3-Our leadership yells “charter schools! and School Choice!”   as the answer.  The students that go to charter schools are attempting to escape the behavioral problems that are left to the public school teachers.   What do you think the public education system in Louisiana will be when all the smart kids without behavioral problems leave?  I will tell you in one word: chaos.    And BTW, the charter school employs public school teachers.  I should know as I taught in one for years.  So, what are we really choosing?  To be with “our kind” or “people like us.”   Separate-but equal…right?  Oh, wait…

4-Teachers are leaving the profession in droves.  Can’t say that I blame them, but we need old teachers.  Some of the greatest teachers I had were ancient:   E. J. Marshall, Ms. Ezell, Mrs. Middlebrooks.  They were so old they may have written the books that we had in class.  Thirty years later, I know they did a great job.  I have been a new teacher, now I am ancient.  I am a better teacher now that I was when I began.  I hate to tell this, but I have seen bad teachers.  Some get better with time and the rest quit.   

5-Constant observations and testing is NOT helping our students or teachers.   What makes a crop grow better?  Feeding and nurturing OR constant measuring.  Mull that over.  While we are at it…what makes a teacher improve?  Should we feed and nurture our education system OR should we constantly measure data????  Teachers, parents and students feel as though there is no winning in the standardized test  and the teacher observation game.      But…you will have TONS of data. 

6-Louisiana residents need to understand that until they value education, their children will not value education.  You can yell reform all you please, but the reform has to come from ALL the stakeholders.  Teachers cannot complete the reform alone. 

7-Republican leaders need to understand that until they value public education, their public educators won’t value them.  We paid beaucoup bucks to out of state specialists to come in and explain how we could improve Louisiana education.  So, here is what we got for the money:  top ten worst states for education!  Go us


turning off the internet

During the Christmas break I went with my 73 year old mother to get a new kindle.  she had been using mine.  This time she wanted a Kindle Fire in HER OWN NAME.  Which is weird, cause she has no internet.  

So, she got the Fire.  Which means she calls and says “Can I come use some of your internet?”  Which is ok.  I live 1/4 mile away from her and dad.  Which means I know she is not getting into any thuggery if she is surfing the web.  Which reminds me…I probably need to check and put some type of parental control on her Fire.   I only hope parental control works on my mom.

Recently she called me at work and asked me quietly “Well, I’m finished, how do I turn off the internet?”  

“No.  Mom you just turn off your device.  Close it up.  Turn IT off.”  

Mom shuffles around in the background “Ok.  Did that…now, how do I turn off the internet?”