Thursday, March 22, 2007

Paper Tigers

This is the day—the day my students turn in their research papers. I liken it to when my grandfather finally succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 78. He had suffered enough, and it was time for the pain to end.

Do you guys know the expression, “The faces change, but the names remain the same?” That sums up this day perfectly because students can fail to turn in work so many ways. With that said, I present to you, the usual suspects:

The UC (pronounced, “Uck”)

That’s the one who starts out every excuse with, “You see.” “You see, I tried to print my paper last night….” “You see, I would have e-mailed it to you, but….” Get it? “You see,” U-C…

For them I have my standard response of, “No I don’t see. I am the Ray Charles of the teaching world. I see nothing. Hey you know how we teachers represent ‘nothing’ in our grade books? With a zero. You see, that’s what you are going to get, if your paper doesn’t come in soon.”

The Searcher

This is the person, who feigns misplacing work, which in actuality, hasn’t been done. These guys are entertaining. I love their flabbergasted looks.

“Where did it go?”

I kept letting him go to his locker, where he insisted it had to be because I was just curious (It was seven by the way, if you’re wondering). It probably would have been more if I hadn’t told him not to come back until he found it. I sure hope we see him again.

The Eternal Planner

This year they came in the form of the school paper editor. She revealed she hadn’t decided on what tone she wanted to set with the paper yet.

Tone? With a research paper? Uh, let’s see what would really hit home with the readers? How about done? Finished? What? Not complicated enough for the mature reader? How about tangible? Hey, do you like Ray Charles?

The Blamer

For this one I already have my response ready to go for when they say, “You wouldn’t help me.” Of course, it’s altered slightly to fit the specific Blamer.
Wouldn’t help you? You didn’t look like you need help drawing AK-47s during instructional time. You didn’t need my help getting suspended for two weeks either? And when you didn’t need help not returning the work I sent to you for those two weeks because, really, that’s one man job. Does me staying until 5pm to tutor everyday not help either? What, did you need me to stay until 8pm? Now the gas you pass in class, I do take some blame for that. Beano’s cheap and I pass a Walgreen’s everyday on my way to school.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have some parents to call. I’ve got names for them too, but none appropriate enough to share.

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