“Erratic” and “Groggy”

I must confess that being a middle school teacher is one of the most entertaining jobs. In my classroom, it is a combination of Comedy Central, The Learning Channel (TLC), MTV, and, yes, sometimes even Lifetime. We always say “what happens in Room 313 stays in Room 313” and I have to give snaps to my students for providing me so many inspirational moments … they are a living, breathing force within my writing.

Some of our more humorous moments have emerged out of my attempt to challenge my students’ vocabulary. I swear middle schoolers come to me overusing nouns like “stuff” or “things” … and don’t even get me started on their adjectives! Not everything is “good,” “fine,” “hot,” or “awesome.” So, one of my challenges for them is to learn more descriptive words and to try using them in class discussions. When I won’t settle for mediocre verbage, I remind them that I want “Verbs That Rock” or “Awesome Adjectives.” I applaud their efforts, but the results can often end up like this …

(True conversation to the best of my memory)

MRS. D: How would you guys describe the main character’s behavior in that scene? And let’s try to use “Awesome Adjectives” this time … [raises eyebrows sternly at the class]

STUDENT #1: Well, he was kind of unpredictable.

STUDENT #2: Agitated?

STUDENT #3: I thought he was annoyed and flustered by the situation.

MRS. D: Excellent! What else?

IMRAN: I thought he acted erotic.

[awkward pause]

MRS. D: Did you just say erotic, Imran?

IMRAN: Yeah, erotic.

MRS. D: [trying to maintain composure while a few of the students hide their giggles] Do you know what erotic even means?

IMRAN: Yeah, it was one of our vocab words–

MRS. D: [interrupting with a shake of her head] Uh, no. No, it was not. It certainly was not a vocab word.

IMRAN: Uh-huh! It means acting all crazy-like. [waves hands and wiggles around to demonstrate]

STUDENT #1: I think he means erratic?

IMRAN: Oh. Yeah, that’s the word. [the class laughs uproariously]

MRS. D: [laughing now, too, but trying to remain the mature adult] Um, yeah, those mean two totally different things, Imran. But nice attempt. [She ignores the few sexually mature students who are still giggling and whispering.] OK, so now that we have that straight … what other adjectives can you think of to describe — [interrupted by Imran’s suddenly raised hand] Yes, Imran?

IMRAN: So, what does erotic mean?

MRS. D: [sighs and gives the class a warning look] Nobody answer that, please.

OK, so if I remember right, I think I tried to explain it with suggestive clues that ended up becoming a joke for quite awhile. At the end of the year, that conversation made our list of favorite funny moments in Mrs. D’s class. Another LOL situation involving vocabulary that still stands out in my memory occurred the next year – it, too, made the list the following year.

STUDENT #1: Mrs. D, what does “groggy” mean?

[Several students jump in at once with explanations just as Mrs. D opens her mouth with her usual reply of “Go get a dictionary.” The words never make it out because Jack jumps in]

JACK: [in a serious, helpful tone] OK, it’s when you neuter a dog.

[awkward pause]

MRS. D: [trying to hold in her laughter] What?

[class giggles at the word “neuter” and everyone waits for Jack’s explanation]

JACK: [repeats himself, not seeing why everyone is laughing] It has to do with a dog getting neutered, that’s all I know.

MRS. D: [laughing outright now] It so does not. Where did you come up with that definition?

JACK: Mrs. D, I’m serious! When my dog got neutered, the vet told us that he was groggy now.

[Mrs. D lays her head on the desk and laughs so hard that she cries. It takes a good five minutes to regain composure.]

JACK: [still not getting it] What is so funny? I’m just trying to help … gosh!

Again, I do love my students and I think that laughing with them really connects us in so many ways. I try not to laugh AT them, but that does happen on occasion. Both of those boys are in high school now and I do miss them. 🙂

And, alas, I must away … I’m feeling groggy from my Benadryl. Hopefully, the lack of sleep will not affect my erratic blood pressure … [giggles]

Looking Back As I Look Ahead When “Just Friends” Turns Into More …
Looking Back As I Look Ahead
When “Just Friends” Turns Into More …

Comments to ““Erratic” and “Groggy””

  1. Alright Lyndsey we can sort this out later but I dont think the great and awesome Mrs. Dallas has the patience for you just using up space of her well earned blog website!!!! If you want to apologize about how idiotic you somtimes are then you should post it on the sorry tab!! Yeah there is one look it up.

    Thy honorable Sir Edward Paul Stanley

    man I am a suck up today

  2. Ok that comment was ment for the newer one!! oops i am soo not a computer person

  3. Wow Mrs. D i can sooo figure out some of the guys that did those thingss!! (LOL) But what about us 8 th grade girls??? JW 🙂 sooo funny bout me and Jill sniffing those markers haha
    Love Always,

    Lyndsey Cottongame

  4. Muy hilarioso. Oh my.

  5. yeah LJ and MG

  6. Well, now that you have educated yourselves, you see why this story was so funny …

  7. O.o oh nevermind


  8. haha,thats so funny,i can,t believe that really happened…so,what does erotic mean???

    michaela gates 😉

  9. srry about my comment, but very funny story though, 🙂

  10. omg!!!! nevermnd nevermind!!! i just looked it up in dictionary.com! ewwww!!! forget i asked that!!!! itnever happened!!!!! ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew!
    -.-mind numbingly gross! forget i ever asked…

  11. um what does erotic mean?

  12. See I’m not the only one who thinks your book will get published!!!!!!!!

    Love you Mrs.D

  13. Omg, Brent … I had forgotten about yall and my shoes! 🙂 I still say a man who takes the time to notice a woman’s shoes is worth getting to know … LOL. Thanks for the support, Chubz. By the way, have you been on my YouTube channel recently? Somebody left a comment on our Wicked video asking if you were a girl or a boy?! I laughed so hard … you did look pretty in that lipstick. Hahaha.

  14. Hey Mrs. D,
    I have read all your blogs and this one was just idk really funny cause I remeber the Imran thing. I also remeber when me and him always commented on your shoes…LOL!!! Anyways knowing you and your work effort you will get an agent and your book will be published… And when it does I will be one of the first people to buy it and read nonstop from cover to cover… Good Luck!!!

    Love Always,
    Cuzin Chubzzzzz

  15. Wow… I really miss those students as well, while at the same time I really enjoy our current group…lol! That is my favorite thing about teaching…every day is something fun and new!

  16. HAHAHA!
    I so have those moments, like everyday!!
    The “erratic” one sounds just like me!
    Everyone just sits there and laughs at me and I’m like, “WHAT?!” lol.

    I know your kids really appreciate those moments in your class!
    You seem like an awesome teacher, I wish I had had you. 🙁

  17. Ha, love this post! Those moments where you AND your students can laugh at the same thing truly does make a bond…goes past the stuffy teacher and underimpressed student routine, and you actually share a funny moment. Love those.

  18. Oh My God! lol. I seriously just laughed my butt
    off. Its on the ground right now:) I miss those
    days so much. I just remebered a ton of the
    fun and amazing stuff we did in your class.
    Im so glad you finished the novel. Im very anxious to read it, you have no idea. I hope
    the hunt for a agent works out. With you, im
    absolutly positive it will:)
    FYI: i get my license in 2 weeks. Ill try to
    stop by and say hi. Miss you lots.
    Love, Alex Taliaferro

  19. awesome. 😉

  20. Ah, the stories of a middle school teacher! 🙂 Love it!

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