Friday, February 10, 2012

Distraction Beams and an Epiphany

As many know, I teach high school math. 

Wednesday I had my professional observation, meaning the principal was in my room for an entire period.

To begin class, I have instructions on the board, usually posted next to a funny picture.  The picture that day was a cartoon of a boy preparing to bite a live chicken's head.  The caption said, "Not that kind of geek!" The kids didn't get it.  So I had to explain that a geek wasn't someone who hacked computers and wore wolf shirts, but ... you know, the whole circus geek thing.  I think this set the tone for what happened later.

My kids like me, and since the principal was there, they behaved better than normal.  Even this one kid in particular that never does anything, participated.  He asked questions and did stuff.  What he did is anybody's guess, but it looked good.

About half way through the lesson, as if hit by an invisible distraction beam, his jaw slowly sagged and his eyes, losing focus, drooped down to the left, fogging over as they drifted. 

"James, are you day-dreaming?"  I asked.

"Nope," he said, with precision and confidence.  "I had an epiphany."

Mummers of awe and wow trickled through the room and kids asked what an epiphany was, and how so many syllables came from James' mouth.

"An epiphany is a sudden realization."  I was hoping it was true.  I hoped he realized that if he participated and worked he could learn.  This kid hasn't passed a math class EVER, literally. 

Turning to James I asked, "What was your epiphany?"

He said ...  "I was on the beach, swimming."

Of course everybody laughed, James too.  Nobody teased him about it afterwards and it wasn't mean.  So I don't wish to provide the impression that I'm poking fun at the young man, just sharing a funny story.

That said, I'm B E A T  ! ! !

I looked at my calendar and I'm not doing a good job resting.  Sleep is fine, but I've not had a day off in almost two weeks.  I need to squeeze in a day off from exercise soon.  But, I got my new seat post for my bike, allowing me to properly position the seat so my knee alignment is correct.  I'm hoping this will be the end of the knee issues!

And with that, Happy Friday to All!

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