The Life of Bon: What had me laughing all weekend long...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What had me laughing all weekend long...

On Friday at school I was trying to help my juniors crank out rockstar essays.

We just finished reading the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" about a lady who is driven mad after she is prohibited from leaving the house, talking to anybody, or doing any kind of physical or mental work.

The essay prompt was this: What causes the narrator to go insane?  Analyze the difference events and situations in her life that cause her to spiral into a pit of madness.  What could have prohibited this insanity?

I walked my students through the five paragraph essay process.  First step, the introduction.  "Now the introduction is a piece of cake," I told them. "I know all of you guys can handle it.  First, you hook your audience and introduce the theme.  Then you introduce the story and author, and finally hit the audience with a debatable thesis that answers the prompt in its entirety and guides the rest of the essay.

Of course, what is easy to an English teacher who has loved reading and writing her entire life is not always easy to a group of sixteen year olds who are 30 minutes away from a weekend.

"Practice your first sentences!"  I commanded.  "Write a hook!  Something that introduces the topic of the essay but still makes me interested in the rest of the essay.  I'm going to come around and check your first sentences.  Get writing!"

They wrote furiously, inspiration flowing through their minds, motivated by such an excellent teacher.

Okay fine, I'll tell the truth.  About half of the class scribbled out a half hearted attempt.  The rest stared blankly and wondered why they had to be stuck with the English teacher who assigned so much writing.

As I walked around the room, I noticed Ed, a Hispanic transfer student who has said no more than two words in the three weeks that he has been in my class.

"How's your essay coming, Ed?  You got a good hook?  Have you figured out how to ease your audience in to the essay?"

Ed smiled ear to ear.  "Yah... I think I got a good one."

I read Ed's opening line,

We all know that women are crazy.

I looked at Ed, so obviously proud of his work, waiting for the affirmation from his teacher that he had written a killer opening line.  There were a lot of things I could have found wrong with that first sentence.  But the truth is, I had to hand it to Ed.  Looks like the kid has figured out what takes most men decades and insane girlfriends and failed marriages to discover.  

He's a smart boy.


  1. Haha, this is great! Sometimes students come up with the most brilliant ideas when you least expect it!

    Happy Monday :)


  2. hahaha. Glad he's learning that at such a young age!

  3. I'm still trying to figure out why you posted a picture of a complete stranger when I'm sure all you would have had to do was to go through your Facebook pictures....BAHAHAHA love you!

  4. Great post! I actually was quite hooked by your assignment and now want to read the story!

  5. Such a corker of a story! Love his response- don't you just adore being an English teacher! Rx

  6. Okay, I definitely just laughing really loud when I saw that picture.

    I love reading teacher's stories from the classroom! I find motivating my students to write is one of the most difficult things - I think I could learn a lot from you. :)

    Thanks for stopping by Love is the Adventure! Come back any time! I'm excited to follow and read.

  7. lol that is awesome! Ed's def. got me hooked! =)