Letter from the Editor

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freedom, my young friends, is just about at an end. Will the last one out of summer please turn off the lights? It's time to stock up on the Cliffs Notes, invest in some No Doze, tuck in those tax-free-weekend shirts and toddle on back to class.

Here are a few thoughts I've collected for you:

* First, some interesting advice for college students, from Susanna Wolff:

"Start setting your alarm clock to get yourself back in the swing of waking up to an awful sound. Of course, it's summer, and you have no reason to wake up except to eat, and being awake will just remind you of the pitiful waste that is your life. So, you know, set the alarm for 5 p.m. That way you can snooze till dinner. Or September.

* And here is a collection of wisdom from younger students, as compiled by the teacher contributors to classroom resource site TeachersFirst.com:

1. Never trust a dog to watch your food. - Patrick, age 10

2. When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don't answer him. - Michael, 14

3. Never pee on an electric fence. - Robert, 13

4. Don't squat with your spurs on. - Noronha, 13

5. Don't pull dad's finger when he tells you to. - Emily, 10

6. Never allow your three-year old brother in the same room as your school assignment. - Traci, 14

7. Don't sneeze in front of mom when you're eating crackers. - Mitchell, 12

8. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time. - Kyoyo, 9

9. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.- Armir, 9

10. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. - Kellie, 11

11. If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse. - Naomi, 15

12. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick. - Lauren, 9

13. Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat. - Joel, 10

14. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone. - Alyesha, 13

* What if Jesus were a middle school teacher today? I had never, ever wondered that, until a teacher contributed this piece. She tells us the original author is unknown:

The Joy of Teaching

Then Jesus took his disciples up to the mountain; and gathering them around him, he taught them, saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the meek.

Blessed are they that mourn.

Blessed are you when persecuted.

Blessed are you when you suffer.

Be glad and rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven."

Then Simon Peter said, "Are we supposed to know this?"

And Andrew said, "Do we have to write this down?"

And James said, "Will we have a test on this?"

And Philip said, "I don't have any paper!"

And Bartholomew said, "Do we have to turn this in?"

And John said, "The other disciples didn't have to learn this!"

And Matthew said, "May I go to the bathroom?"

Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus' lesson plan and inquired of Jesus,

"Where are your anticipatory set and your objectives in the cognitive domain?"

And Jesus wept.

* Sometimes it is the parents who need an education. These actual excuse notes were collected by Nisheeth Parekh, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston:

My son is under a doctor's care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 29, 29, 30, and also 33.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

* Don't sweat it too much kids. If it wasn't for your teachers, who would turn your mirrors into windows?

A final thought for the school year, courtesy Alvin Toffler:

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."