Dirty Shirts and Dirty Words

I should be grading a stack of summaries right now, but due to the fact that they were making my brain bleed, I’ve decided to have my students proofread them one more time before I bust out my red pen. That means I have a few free minutes to bring you this lovely post.

Here are my two memorable moments from today:

#1.  District Profession Development Part 2 (If you missed the recap of the 1st session, you can read about it here.)

We started off the session analyzing the exigence, audience, purpose, ethos, pathos, and logos of song lyrics. Fair enough. We also learned how to write a “kick-ass topic sentence”. In our building we use the “T”SAT formula for our topic sentences: title in quotes, source underlined, author and topic. It’s essentially the exact same thing. As the presenter is explaining what makes up a “kick-ass topic sentences” I lean forward and ask my coworker:

Me: “So why does he use ‘kick-ass’? How does the name help kids write a correct sentence?”

Coworker: “It doesn’t. It just sounds ‘cool’.”

Me: “That’s what I thought.”

We analyzed the song he used with his students. Here was my topic sentence:

In the song “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel, the speaker tries to coerce a young Catholic virgin to take part in a little sexy sex with him because it is the key to living a long life.

See! Kick-Ass!

If I were to use this song in class, which I would not, here are some assignments choices I might give my students:

A.) You are a father and your 14-year-old daughter wants to date the speaker in this song. Write 15 lines of dialog that might take place between the two of you. (Actually, I’d really want to read what they’d come up with.)

B.) Choose an adjective that describes the speaker of this song. Provide 5 specific examples from the lyrics that support the adjective you have chosen.

C.) In five minutes, list as many reasons as you can that explain why this song was probably not the best choice to analyze in our classroom. Be sure that all of your reasons are “kick-ass”!

We finished off the day’s session with a George Carlin video in which he takes a “comedic whack-o point of view” on the notion of saving the planet.

Presenter: “I like to use this video with my students and I don’t really have to edit it.”

Me: (Whispering to my coworker) “Do you think he really edits anything he uses?”

Coworker: Eye-roll with a head shake.

Me: “That’s what I thought.”

For the record, in the 8 minute clip, “Uncle George” only used asshole” once and “shit” four times. Not too bad if you also don’t count the four times he dropped the F-bomb.

*Random side note: The lady behind me popped her gum 13 times… then I stopped counting because I lost the will to care.

#2. This is the T-shirt one of my students wore today.


5 responses to “Dirty Shirts and Dirty Words

    • Sadly, I didn’t even notice until the very end of class. I kept forgetting to email the principal about it. I don’t think the shirt made it through the entire day… or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Sadly, the shirt ranks very low when it comes to this student’s faux pas. 😦

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