Me: “Did you do your homework?”
Kid: “No, I didn’t have time. With Christmas and all.”
Me: “Christmas is still 2 weeks away.”
Kid: “I know, but like. There’s a LOT that goes into Christmas, you know? There’s a lot of stuff that leads up to it. It’s not just like you’re busy on that ONE day.”
Me: “I guess…”
(15 minutes later)
Me: “So what IS your family doing for Christmas?”
Kid: “Oh, my family? Nothing. We’re Jewish.”
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.”
Third graders are the best. Just barely on the cusp of having a clue.
Kid (out of NOWHERE): “Donald Trump is going to die, you know.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Kid: “Because he’s getting us into a war, and then he’s going to go fight in the war and he’ll die on the battlefield.”
Kid: “What’s so funny?”
Me: “The idea of Trump going onto a battlefield and actually being willing to fight in a war he started. Who told you this anyway?”
Kid: “My nanny.”
Kid: “She’s Mexican.”
Me: “I see.”
Kid: “She’s REALLY excited for him to die.”
Kid: “Why are you called a tutor? Is it because you TOOT A LOT??!?!?”
(5 minutes of maniacal laughter at own joke)
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: ( . crosses arms. pouts.)
We’re so fucked.
I’m not gonna lie, I almost miss this.
Kid: “Wow! You’re the smartest adult I know!”
Me: “How many adults do you know?”
Kid: “Like, 2.”
Just now on the street…
“Dayuuuuuum Miss Emily! I knew you was young when you was my teacher, but you look even more young now. What you, like, 21? Look like you aging backward!”
— Former Kindergarten student, now a completely inappropriate 14-year-old punk with terrible grammar.
And my new favorite person.
Excerpt from an email I received from a former student:
My drafted response:
(Continuation of Ebola Mom Part 61 and part of the Ebola Mom series)
She found an interpreter!