Today my students wrote letters to their parents for parent teacher conferences. While I walked around the room, reading over their shoulders, one student stopped me and asked:
Student: “Hey Miss Lewis. Do you want to hear a joke?”
Me: “Well that depends. You have seven minutes. Can you tell me a joke and still get your letter finished in seven minutes?”
Student: “Yah. Oh yah. I’m almost done with my letter.”
Me: “Well then I would love to hear a joke.”
Student: “Ok. A guy walked into a strip club-”
Me: “Ok. I’m going to stop you right there.”
Student: “No. No. It’s not dirty. He goes to a strip club because he’s going to order a steak. It’s just called a strip club because it’s like a strip. As in like a steak. I swear. It’s not dirty.”
Me: “Okay. Let’s just start with the part where the guy orders a steak.”
Student: “Fine. This guy orders a steak and the waiter brings it out and it’s all bloody. They guy asked the waiter, ‘Why is my steak bleeding?’ and the waiter says, ‘It’s because I just got done beating my meat.’ ”
Me: “Now you just lied to me. You told me your joke wasn’t dirty.”
Student: Using his book and pencil to pantomime a butcher tenderizing a slab of beef with a mallet. “Get it? It’s not dirty. He was like beating the meat.”
Me: “Well that may be true, but why is the joke funny?”
Student: Thinking quietly to himself for a few seconds before his face and neck turn bright red.”Ohhhh…“
Me: “Yep. It’s not just the words you actually say, but what the joke actually means, that make it a dirty joke.”
The remainder of the afternoon went pretty well.
And then came the after-school dance.
The Cafetorium (yep, that’s a thing): Is pulsating with the sounds of Nicki Minaj and clouded in a thick fog of BO and Axe Body Spray.
In the center of the cafetorium, is a clump of kids “dancing.” In the center of that clump, an 8th grade boy and girl are making out a ton. A staff member, pulls me aside. She asks if I know the girl student, and when I tell her she’s in my 2nd Block, she says, “I think you need to pull her aside and talk to her. About what she’s doing.” Before I can approach the student, Miss S. has her pulled to the side and is giving her a lecture.
After the dance, I’m standing in the hall, sending kids on their merry way, when I stop to see the nurse and Miss S. talking about this same 8th grade girl.
Me: “So what was she doing? I was told to talk to her, but you had already taken care of it.”
Miss S.: “She was standing in the middle of that circle, with her boyfriend, and they were French kissing. I’m talking his tongue was all the way down her throat.”
Me: “Ewww. Gross. I just saw him getting handsy and told him to stop. That’s gross.”
As we’re standing there gossiping the two kids start towards us on their way out the door. I lean in to Miss S. and the nurse, “Watch this.”
Me: “Hey A_____, come here for a second. I asked the nurse to come here because I was worried about you. I wanted to make sure you were okay. Are you okay?”
Student: “Yah. I’m okay.”
Me: “Are you sure? Because I thought you might be having some trouble breathing. Is you’re breathing okay?”
Student: “Yah. I’m fine.”
Me: “Are you sure? It looked to me like you were having trouble breathing during the dance. You know. With that obstruction blocking your airway.”
Student: “Awww, Miss Lewis.”
Me: “I just wanted to make sure. But if you’re okay, you can go home now so the nurse can check my retinas. I’m pretty sure they were burned from watching you at the dance.”