My tolerance for ridiculous questions is pretty high.

Being a 7th grade teacher, that tolerance is tested daily. Here’s an actual conversation that I had today.

V: …so I want you to take pictures of right angles in your house and print them out. You can go to Kinko’s; it costs about 16 cents to print out a picture. Yes, Andrea?
Andrea: But what if I have, like, a digital camera… thingy…. that prints the pictures out?
V: That’s fine, however you get the pictures is fine. So, you’ll take those pictures and draw a diagonal, making it a right triangle…. yes, Nancy?
Nancy: But what if… umm… like, what if my parents have a photo printer? Do I still have to go to Kinko’s?
V: You deserve to be kicked in the throat. Are you serious? Should you be in the special class?


Okay, I don’t quite say everything out loud that I hear in my head. I have to let out my humor somewhere. The students just don’t get it. Here’s a transcript of a conversation I had no less than 6 times today:

Sam: Mr. V, can I have some extra credit?
V: Sure, Sam. Let me bring up your grades… Sam, you have an F.
Sam: What?!
V: Yeah, you haven’t turned in any homework all quarter.
Sam: Awww! Can I have extra credit?
V: Sam, why would I give you EXTRA credit, when you don’t do the credit that I give you the first time?
Sam: Well, I can’t get an F! My parents will take away my skateboard/cell phone/XBOX!
V: Okay, here’s a printout of your assignments. If you do these 12 assignments for tomorrow, you’ll be out of the F range.
Sam: That’ll take all night!
V: Then perhaps you should do homework the night it is due, instead of doing it all once a month, dumbass. Go soak your head, you’re wasting my time.

I think the students are noticing that I’m more witty when I’m being observed by my bosses, because there are adults in the room who get my jokes. Here’s a discussion from yesterday:

V: How long is side b?
Class: 4 units
V: Right, so if we’re making a square, how far to the right will we go?
Kelly: Mr Vaudrey!
Class: 4 units
V: Good, how far down?
Class: 4 units
V: How many?
Class: 4 units!
Kelly: Mr. Vaudrey!
V: Good, how far to the left?
Class: 4 Units.
V: Okay, show me. Draw the square.
V: But you’re also shouting, Kelly, so I’m making you wait. You can’t raise your hand and shout at the same time, they don’t go together. It’s like smoking while jogging.

All chatter in the class immediately stops, and through pre-teen eyes, I can see the gears turning.

he just said a joke, but I don’t get it…

Then the usual  chatter begins.

“My dad smokes.”
“I could never smoke; it’s gross.”
“My momma would kick my ass if I smoked.”
“I want to talk about myself because I’m an early adolescent”

All through the mindless talk, I can hear a hiccuppy chortle; my department head thought it was a good joke.

Well, good.