Teenagers are funny. Every once in a while I think I have them figured out, then BOOM-- they are doing something to crack me right the hell up or tick me right the hell off.
Today is the last day of the trimester, so that means I get a whole new 160 names to put to faces next week. It also means the 160 faces I have been talking at for the past 12 weeks will move on. Kids get brave when they know they are moving on. So this morning, a 9th grade boy raised his hand and asked, "Do you have a crush on Mr. Thomas?" I just kind of stared at him for a minute, because, quite frankly, I was trying to figure out who Mr. Thomas was. The only Mr. Thomas popping into my brain was my high school math teacher, and there were certainly no crushes there. Yikes!
Apparently, the rest of the class wanted to know the same thing judging from their head nods and sudden silence.
I said, "I'm married."
They said, "So what?"
I said, "My husband is the love of my life."
They said, "That doesn't matter."
I said, "I don't even know who Mr. Thomas is!"
They said, "You know, the science teacher."
Oh yeah, Mr. Thomas.
He is kinda cute.
I have to admit that I was relieved that at least they thought I had decent taste in men. But still . . . a) why the heck would they think that? and b) why the heck would they care? and c) I hope to high heaven Mr. Thomas hasn't heard this rumor!!! Yikes!
I realized later in the day that I was likely the one who gave birth to this latest locker-buddy gossip--inadvertently, of course. A couple of times a week my students play this game called Grammar Punk. They get to grab sticks out of a container, and the sticks give them criteria for writing a sentence. In one of my 8th grade classes, the sticks we pulled were: teachers, 1, proper noun, t, o. That means we were supposed to write a sentence with one proper noun (with a t and an o in it) about teachers. I always write a sample sentence, and I do my best to make my sentence one the kids might get a kick out of. So this is what I put on the white board:
I toilet papered Mr. Thomas' house.
Of course toilet papering someone's house equals true love forever (written with the T, L and A all hooked together) for an 8th grader. So the very logical leap would be that I love Mr. Thomas.
Teenagers are good at making such logical leaps.
Just like that time when my best friend in high school asked if my mom (who taught at our high school) was having an affair with Mr. Campbell. Their rooms were connected by a storage room/office space and sometimes my mom and Mr. Campbell were in there at the same time.
And there was that time when she t.p.'d Mr. Campbell's house . . . *rubbing chin* hmmmmmmmm