Thursday, November 15, 2007

students say the darndest things

First, my apologies because this has been my worst blogging week so far. It's the first week of basketball, and I've been real busy, but that sounds like an excuse, so forget it. I've dropped the ball. Sorry.

Anyway, here's one that's been in the cooker for a while. When you're a teacher--especially an English teacher--you'll occasinally be reading through a paper and find a line (sometimes more) in a paper that a student has written that makes you laugh out loud, then go into the room next door and say, "You've gotta' hear this." Sometimes it's because of sloppiness, and sometimes it's not at all clear why it happens, but I've decided to give you a sampling of such lines (and while I am going to use aliases so as not to lose my job, I can assure you that these are all direct quotations):

CHARITY WILSON (Persuasive Research Paper): "'Disabled' and 'retarded' people have a special place in God's eyes."
I believe that Charity was quoting from Leviticus there.

JUSTIN HILL (Literary Analysis): "Billy Collins's students take poetry for granite."
It's possible that this is just an awkward way of saying that Collins's students sometimes think that a bit of verse is actually a piece of plutonic igneous rock. If so, they would be only slightly more daft than mine.

GRANT VANDEBOGERT (Othello Essay Test): "Othello is a warrior for Venetia."
Actually, Grant, it's people from Venice that are called Venetians. Nice try.

BRIDGET BROWN (Reflection Paper): "In this class, I learned different ways of writing in different time zones. Like how people acted in the past compared to now."
Time zones, Bridget? Really? Like how people on the east coast write differently than people in the midwest? Or could you possibly have meant different time periods? Possibly?

JUSTIN LANDON (Persuasive Essay): "Ninja fighting turtles is probably the best thing that anyone has ever seen."

NATE SANDERSON (throughout an entire Connection Paper): "The Great Gagesby."
And this was after we'd read almost the entire book aloud in class and he had had a copy of it at his disposal for two weeks. Take a glance at the cover, Nate.

ANNIE LEWIS (Connection Paper, in which students are to connect the book--in this case The Great Gatsby--with something else they've read): "The Great Gatsby reminded me a lot of a book that I read when I was in middle school. I don't remember the name, but it's really similar."
And that was her ENTIRE ESSAY! Excellent work, Annie. I'll take your word for it.

PARKER FRITZ (Literary Analysis): "Overall, this essay shows an awesome use of diction."
TOTALLY awesome.

NATE SANDERSON (Final Exam Essay, in which he was to identify the five points of view discussed in class: 1st-person participant, 1st-person observer, 2nd-person, 3rd-person limited, and 3rd-person omniscient): “There are five different point of views: first person, second person watching, second person reacting, third person limited, and third person obeisant."
Yup, that's the same Nate Sanderson. I'm not sure which is my favorite. Possibly 2nd-person watching, but possibly 3rd-person obeisant. (In case you were curious, Webster's Dictionary defines "obeisant" as "respectful." I always appreciate a respectful narrator.)

Hope that entertained you as much as it frustrated me.

Later gators.


Claire said...

HILARIOUS. Annie Lewis gets first place from me. First place and a slap upside the head.

Stacy said...

Does what I'm writing make sense to all of you? I'm in the Eastern Time Zone, so I'm not sure if you can understand my different style.

And, to add to the list:

Two separate people in my class for ENGLISH MAJORS noted in their reading responses that Billy Collins wrote _The Things They Carried_. Again, people, check the front of the book (or the syllabus or the assignment sheet).