Category Archives: Teaching

Remind Me to Thank Your Dad

Finishing a math lesson with a 5 year old….

Me: “Any questions?”

Kid: “Yeah. When that baby comes out of your vagina, is it going to hurt?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Kid: “Babies come out of vaginas, you know. My dad told me when I asked him how your baby was going to get out of you. He said it would come out of your vagina.”

Me: “Well, remind me to thank your dad. But what I meant was, do you have any MATH questions.”

Kid: “Ummmm…let me think.”

Me: “We just did a whole lesson about how to tell time and read a calendar. Do you have questions about THAT?”

(long pause)

Kid: “Oh! Yes. How many days on the calendar…”

Me: “Ok, that’s better…”

Kid: “…until that baby comes out of your vagina?”

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Pretty Much

Kid and I are researching quotes for his paper about community action, and we come across a good quote by Nelson Mandela.

Me: “Ohhh, that’s a perfect one to use. Do you know who Nelson Mandela is?”

Kid: “Yeah of course.”

Me: “Oh, I’m impressed. I wouldn’t necessarily think a kid your age would know about him.”

Kid: “Well, my dad listens to his music all the time.”

Me: “Ummm…his music? Nelson Mandela was not a musician, as far as I know…”

Kid: “Yes, he’s a country singer!”

Me: “I think you’re thinking of someone else…”

Kid: “You know, (singing) ‘On the road again, Just can’t wait to get on the road again….'”

Me: “Oh, honey, no. That’s Willie Nelson. Not Nelson Mandela. They are two very VERY different people. Nelson Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa.”

Kid (pondering): “Ok but otherwise they’re pretty much the same.”

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Upper East Side Standards

Before my first session with a new client…

Parent (to her kid): “I want you to listen to everything Miss Emily says, because she went to Penn, and if you listen to her, one day you can go to a school like that, too. Wouldn’t that be so great?”

Kid: (blank stare)

BECAUSE HE’S THREE.

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Oh I See What You Did There

Parent of student: “Why isn’t her math improving more?!”

Me (aloud): “Progress takes time.”

Me (internally): “Little do you know, ‘Progress takes time’ is just my vague, polite, professional code for GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK, LADY– I see your kid one hour a week. If she doesn’t put in the effort between sessions, well…I’M NOT A GODDAMN WIZARD.”


Me: “Why aren’t I improving more?!”

Therapist: “Progress takes time.”

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The Future

About to play a math game…

Kid: “Can we use the dice app on your phone again?”
Me: “No, we only did that last time because I forgot the dice. But now I have them, so we can roll them ourselves.”
Kid (sigh): “But it’s so much easier to just touch your phone screen.”
Me: “But it’s so much nicer and more interesting to be a human who does old-timey human things, like hold real dice in your hand, and then extend your arm ever so slightly to roll them on the real, live floor. Plus they make a sound and everything!”
Kid: ( Face_With_Rolling_Eyes_Emoji_large. crosses arms. pouts.)

We’re so fucked.