In my job, I banter with students quite a bit. I record a lot of their chatter on my computer–it makes for good writing later.

Avery: None of the solutions work!
Vaudrey: You have to show your work on paper. Paper is smarter than your brain.
Daniel: Nuh-uh! Paper is made out of trees and trees aren’t smart.
Vaudrey: I know that, I mean your brain is smarter on paper.
Victor: Your brain can’t get out of your body or you die.

Mark: Mr. Vaudrey, I heard about this guy on the History channel who ran, um, from San something all the way to LA without stopping. It was like three marathons in a row.
Nymnh: Duh, it’s called Forrest Gump.
Vaudrey: Forrest Gump is a fictional story.
Nymnh: No! Then why is there Bubba Gump Shrimp Company?

This particular short post isn’t about those, however. On Wednesday (before Nancy’s Christmas gift on Friday), Jasmine came into my class and said, “I brought the shirt!”

Now before you write angry comments about what a terrible person I am, there is a backstory:

In my class of Honors students, I permit a little more time for non-math chatter because the actual math doesn’t take them as long as the other classes. I permit some chatter in all my classes because I want students on my side. One day in the Honors class went like this:

Vaudrey: Good morning, first period. This is as loud as I can talk, so go easy on me today.
Student 1: What’s wrong?
Vaudrey: Eh, I’m just a little sick.
Student 2: You should stay home!
Vaudrey: I could, but it’s easier just to come in. Besides, who would teach the class?
Student 3: I would!
Student 2: When we’re sick, we stay home.
Vaudrey: Well… I’m more important than you.

This, of course, was met with rolling in the aisles and several rounds of “Aw, naw!” We all had a little chuckle and Jasmine’s shrill voice rang out.

Jasmine: I’m gonna put that on a T-shirt!

Several more guffaws and rounds of “I’ll buy that shirt!” and the class went on to discuss the addition of polynomials.

Well, a few weeks later, I got a homemade Christmas present that I wore proudly all day.

Here’s the front of it.

Obviously, I explained the shirt to every teacher, student, and staffer that saw it. As a stand-alone article, I probably won’t wear it to the mall or anything, but as a student gift, it’s fabulous.

And if she thought I meant what i said, she wouldn’t have made the shirt.