Friday, October 5, 2007

My date with the Rocky Mountain Express Cloggers.

I forgot to write about my Clogger. Not like he clogs things up. He clogs. Like Irish dancing, but not. You can swing your arms around and such.

So I introduced myself to this tiny little kid who sits by my desk, and asked him how his work was coming. The seventh graders are working on a project in which they design their own worlds, complete with cultural norms, family norms, etc. So I've seen places called Eyeland (how punny), ESPN World, Marclar (Southpark reference, I'm sad that I know this), Heavenland, JimmyWorld, you get the idea. Well, this tiny little wisp of a boy shows me his brochure for his world. It's name? Rocky Mountain Express Cloggers Island World.

"You clog?" I croon.

He tells me all about his dance company and the features of his little clogging mecca-world. I walk away, and out of the corner of my eye, I see these skinny little limbs working their magic under Clogger's desk. He is dancing up a storm, trying to steal sneaky glances at me. Oh, I see you Clogger. Immobile torso, yes, but those clunky skater shoes furiously wearing away the carpet underneath your seat.

I gave him a sweet little smile and said, "I see you clogging under there." He grinned and blushed. I think I'm the first girl he's ever impressed. He invited me to his dance recital. In December. If I remember I'll go cheer on my cute little Clogger. Seventh grade is the best!

In the next class of seventh graders, there's a student from Brasilia, Brazil. When I introduced myself on the first day of my time at this junior high school, one of the students asked me if I spoke any other languages. When I confessed to speaking some Spanish and Portuguese, they all cajoled me to say something in the latter. I said something to the effect of, "I don't speak Portuguese very well, but I do speak a little bit." Brasilia responded in Portuguese, and we exchanged three or four times. The class went wild. It's fun to snag their attention. I still haven't cracked my ninth graders, but the seventh graders have been pretty easy.

Anyway, Brasilia was spotlighted today, and talked about her desire to be an author by profession. She announced that she had already begun her first novel. When she was done, I jotted down a self-publication website on a post-it (lulu.com, thank you Ben!) and "Good luck!" I quietly and quickly stuck it on her desk; I didn't say a peep, just turned around on the double. I did glance back though, and her face was priceless. Her head whipped around, and she was grinning. She's a very bright, very expressive girl. I see a lot of my seventh grade self in her. Eager, bursting with ideas, and all-too-easily obnoxious. People like Brasilia and me, we need allies. I love being a teacher because I get to be an intellectual, academic ally for kids like Brasilia. I don't know her well, but I have a feeling I will be receiving a copy of her self-published novel within the next year.

And randomly, things I learned I am bad at:

1. Tearing colored paper off the butcher rolls in the copy room.
2. Stapling said paper onto a bulletin board.
3. Reloading the stapler.
4. Handling fart jokes.
5. Handling sentences that run as follows: "So Marclar marclarred the marclar in the marclar, and Marclar marclarred Marclar back in the Marclar room."
6. Turning down flirty twelve year-olds.

I love education.

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