25 Bible Jokes

I decided to combine my love of dad jokes with my love of Jesus and write some jokes based (loosely) on the Bible.  Some of them are really bad.  Be ye warned.

Why didn’t Joseph wear a necktie?  He always wore a coat of mini collars

What did Jesus say to the Mexican Jumping Beans?  Peas! Be still.

Why was Peter’s writing so lyrical?  When he was in prison, he was bound with Two Chainz.

Why don’t Jamaican Christians cut wood?  Their pastor says that God is one but He be made of tree parts. (Read in a Jamaican accent or it doesn’t make sense…it might still not make sense.)

Why did Moses want the Chief Wahoo logo gone?  He was always partial to the Red C.

What did Jesus say when T got too close to V?  I’m going to prepare a place for U.

What did Jesus say to the acorns that fell too fast?  Have faith and just be leaves.

Why did the disciples quit Black Lives Matter in the Garden of Gethsemane? They couldn’t stay woke,

Why did everyone think Jesus was a big gambler?  He was always talking about a pair a dice.

Why are beans the holiest vegetable? Jesus said “Blessed are the peas makers.”

Why did 3 John put pants on Jude?  He didn’t want any more Revelations.

When did Jesus get involved in the NBA? When he stopped James and John from fixing the Nets. (No wonder they’re so bad each year)

What would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob name their football team? The New England Patriarchs.

What does Mike Tyson think is the hottest underwear in the Bible?  The Thong of Tholomon.

What did Festus say when Paul asked to go to Caesar? “Seize her? I didn’t even think you knew her!”

What did Jonah say when the fish asked if he wanted to be spit out? “Yes! For shore!”

When are bartenders mentioned in the Bible? When Jesus said “Blessed are the pouring spirits.”

Why did Jezebel want Naboth’s Vineyard so bad?  She thought it was just grapes.

Why do Christians drink soy protein? They believe Jesus is the only whey.

Why was everyone so happy that Saul missed when he threw the spear at David? If he had hit him, I’d could have been truly harp breaking.

What did Mary say when Jesus’ room was messy? “What were you, born in a stable?”

What is Jonah’s favorite spot in Jerusalem? The whaling wall.

Why wasn’t Noah good at math? He could only count two by two.

Why did Solomon have to be so smart? To remember all his anniversaries.

Why do Christians eat so much cheese? Jesus was always talking about having a grater love.

 

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Things I say

I have several goals for myself as a teacher.  I want to prepare my students academically, emotionally, and socially for the rest of their lives.  I want to provide them with a safe environment both physically and emotionally while they’re here.  I want them to leave my classroom simply as a better person than when they walked in.  However, one of the things for which I strive, as I think we all do, is to simply be someone that they remember.

There are several schools of thought on this.  First, there’s the cliche that “Students won’t remember everything you taught them but they will always remember how you made them feel.”  So for this, I do try to always provide a welcoming environment in which the students feel safe and accepted.  However, I have found that one of the things that the students remember most about me is the quirky things that I say.  My first year, when I was coaching the basketball team, to get them to stop talking so we could coach, I would yell “Lock it up and take a knee!”  Just last year, I saw one of my old basketball players and he quite literally asked me if I still told kids to lock it up.  I’m proud to say I do.  However, I just say and do a lot of quirky things to try to keep the classroom fun and entertaining and keep the students engaged.  I think overall, if ten years from now, students look back and think, “Man, Mr. Steidl was probably a little bit legitimately insane!”  I’ll be ok with that.  So, without further ado, here are some of the weird things I say.

When a student tells me that they don’t want to do something I usually reply with, “Well I don’t want donuts to make me fat.  But I eat plenty of them and, well….”

When a student asks a question that I really just don’t want or need to take the time to answer I say, “Oh yeah, that is a nunya.” or “Oh yeah that belongs to nunya” or “Oh she was talking to nunya.”  Then when they say “Who’s nunya?” or “What’s a nunya?” I say “Nunya business!!! BAHAHAHA.” and walk away.  I also do the same thing with the word minejone.  As in “Minejone business!!!!”

Sometimes I’ll pronounce words wrong on purpose.  Like I’ll say soicle instead of circle.  For example, “Soicle all the fractions that are equivalent to 1/2.” Kids look at me weird and I say, “I can’t say the word circle so I have to say soicle instead.” They usually yell, “But you just said “Circle!!”” And I’ll act like I’m hurt and say, “Now you guys are just teasing me.  I literally cannot physically pronounce the word, “circle,” so I have to say, “soicle.”

When kids say “OH MY GOD!!!” like complaining that I’m telling them to go back to their seats or something, I say “No, I’m Mr. Steidl, not God, but I think He’d agree with me on this.  Go back to your seat.”

When kids disagree with something like not being able to just get up and go to the bathroom whenever they want, I’ll say, “Too bad, so sad, glad your mad.  That’s rhyming. And that lesson is free of charge.  You’re welcome.  Now sit down.”

I am proud to say that I have taught an entire 30 minute lecture in an Irish accent.

When kids hug each other in the hall I’ll say, “Stop! Nope! Nope! Nope! This is a hug free zone.  That is much different than a free hug zone!  No hugs allowed.”

Many times when I’m saying a students name I’ll place the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable.  For example, I’ll pronounce “Harmony” as har-mone-ee. Just to change it up and get the kid’s attention.

Sometimes I’ll sing Disney songs in the hallway to students if it applies.  For example, fifth grade lost their recess for three weeks and had to sit doing writing assignments.  Their first day back on the playground, I started singing, “And for the first time in forever.”  Or if a kid is taking a long time at the drinking fountain…”I’ve been out here staring at the water…”  When we’re learning about shapes in first grade “It’s the circle of life”…when I hear two kids are dating “It’s beauty and the beast.” etc.

A lot of times I’ll change my voice inflection dramatically in the middle of a sentence along with my rate of speech.  So I’ll go from whispering to half-yelling and talking in slow-motion to talking really really quickly.

I’ll speak Spanish to my only English speaking kids just to confuse them and get them to look at me.

Sometimes when a kid says, “Excuse me!” I’ll reply, “That’s ok, I didn’t smell it.”

So as I read over this list, I realize that I must seem like a really crazy person to my students.  Strangely, I’ve come to be at peace with that. I think that it’s probably best that my students think I’m little bit crazy in the head.  It’s good for them to think that…or maybe that’s just me being crazy again.

 

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day at an elementary school is always replete with drama.  As teachers, we don’t always know who’s dating whom and who just broke up with whom.  We get snippets and hear some of it but simply don’t have enough time to truly keep up with it.  Furthermore, I personally can say that I don’t really care.  Some of it is noteworthy so we know that Boy A can’t sit next to Boy B anymore because Boy B is now dating Boy A’s ex so they’ll fight.  Or we know that we can’t let Boy A go to the bathroom when Girl A is out of the room etc.  But most of it is just tertiary drama that really doesn’t affect us day to day.  However, on Valentine’s Day, we usually get doused with it.  Here are some funny anecdotes from the past couple years from Valentine’s Day.

The Manipulator

This is a pretty simple story really.  I was in first grade one year and saw one little girl get up in the middle of instructional time, waltz up to a young boy’s desk, and blatantly drop a note on his desk and hug him.  The boy, obviously taken aback at this unexpected amorous display looked helplessly up at me.  I just rolled my eyes and held out my hand.  The boy handed me note and I opened it up to read, “Dear Finky (Badly misspelled name), I love you.  I really do Finky. Love, (Girl’s name).”  Obviously I ribbed the boy to no end about it and to this day call him Finky.

However, the real punchline of the story comes later while I was at lunch duty.  As I was walking around the cafeteria helping the first and second graders open ketchup packets, (a task that is seemingly impossible for them to complete independently) the girl walked up to me and said, “Mr. Steidl, I have a secret.”  “Ok” I said. “I don’t really love (boy’s name). I just gave him that note to make you jealous.” She whispered.  “Ok.” I said, as I felt that any other response would be somehow inappropriate.  She then skipped away as if we’d never talked.

Cool Points for Mr. Steidl

Two of the teachers were sitting in the lounge on their planning period on one Valentine’s Day just discussing some of the drama.  “Oh gosh and then the whole thing with Bob and Jane (real names redacted to protect the somewhat innocent).” I heard them talking about how he forgot to get her a card for Valentine’s Day and how she loves Hershey’s Kisses and he came in eating Hershey’s Kisses but didn’t give her any for Valentine’s Day so she’s so mad at him.  Now Bob is an idiot.  I love the kid, but he’s an idiot, especially when it comes to girls.  However, we were making Valentine’s Day cards in my first grade group when he was on his lunch.  So I went to the cafeteria and called him out to the hallway. “Am I in trouble?” He asked as he walked up to me. “Well not with me.” I replied “But I hear that Jane isn’t too happy with you.” “Oh man. I know!” he said, and proceeded to give me the whole sob story about how he forgot.

I decided to help the young man out and asked him if he would like to bring his lunch to first grade and make a valentine for Jane there.  One of my students had also given me a giant Hershey Kiss that I was in no way going to eat so I offered it to him if he wanted it.  He said that yes he wanted to come up and make a valentine for Jane.  He worked diligently for about 15 minutes and then got up to leave.  “You want me to proof-read it?” I asked. “Yea that’d be good.” He replied and handed me the note.  I opened it up…

“Dear Jane,

HAHAHAHA Gotcha!  You thought I forgot for real didn’t you? Best joke ever right?  You know I would never actually forget about you.  I just wanted to make it better because it would be more of a surprise.  You know I love you.  I would say more than that but I think Mr. Steidl gonna read this.

Bob.”

It was just epic.  I never told Jane anything about how he actually did forget or that the huge Hershey Kiss she got was actually from a little girl named Adrianna.  That would be some major violation of bro code.  I’m pretty sure she knows anyways.  However, every time “Bob” sees me in the hall now, he kind of just gives me a nod and grins.  Cool points for Mr. Steidl.

Secrets Secrets – The Home Life

Sometimes kids tattle on their parents without really understanding what they’re doing.  There are times when students disclose to us serious things that happen in the home but other times it is much more lighthearted and funny.  The best of these stories come when the student has absolutely no idea what they’re actually telling us.  Other times they know what they’re saying and just don’t realize how much their parent doesn’t want us to hear it.  For example…

The Crying Baby

I was doing a reward lunch with a group of students.  These are always great because students just talk.  When they’re allowed to just talk, really funny things come out of their mouth.  This one student was talking about his siblings.  “Mr. Steidl, my little brother cries a lot.  Yesterday, my mom and her boyfriend went in to her bedroom because they had to find something in her closet.  They were in there for a long time looking and I had to watch my baby brother the whole time.  He was just crying and crying.” I didn’t ask if they found what they were looking for.

Those Red Lights Are the Worst

This time was right around Marin Luther King Jr. day.  We were talking about the impact that he had on our nation and how he was instrumental in changing some very unfair laws.  I was trying to explain to a group of first graders what the Jim Crow laws were.  One little girl raised her hand and just started talking.  “Mr. Steidl I know we have laws that are really really bad.  Like red lights.”  “Red lights?”  “Yeah you know like on the roads.”  “Yes.  I know what red lights are.  Why are they so bad?”  “Well my mom always says that the red lights make her late for work.”  “Yep.  Red lights are the worst for that aren’t they.”

Palabras Malas

We’ve had a few students this year that moved here from Puerto Rico after the hurricane.  These students obviously bring a whole set of new challenges with the language barrier and other factors.  It’s fascinating to watch them acclimate socially and begin to learn the language.  It’s funny to see which words they learn first from their peers.  One of the boys simply hardly talks at all even to me in Spanish.  So his teacher was very surprised when she heard him not only speak but say “Holy shit.”  So, we found ourselves having a discussion about language that is appropriate for school.  We usually get some kids say things like, “But my mom says that all the time.”  One time I remember a girl even looking at us and saying, “Um, have you met my step dad Jose?”  Well this particular time, when we were talking about swearing, one student raised her hand and said, “Mr. Steidl, my mom cusses about you all the time.”  “Really?” I replied.  “Yeah, she doesn’t like you very much.  She always calls you the B word and the F word.  She sometimes says the S word too when she talks about you.”  Well thank you.  That is very encouraging.   I’m sure she wants you to let me know.

 

Minor Indiscretions

So I started writing for this weekly short fiction contest.  They email me five prompts on Friday and I have until midnight the following Friday to respond to one of them.  Well, long story short (pun intended), I missed the deadline this week so I am allowed to just post my story on my blog.  So, I guess my lack of responsibility is your gain.

The prompt I chose was to write a story based on a meme.  I chose a meme of Kevin Hart that says “That awkward moment when you’ve already said “What?” three times and still didn’t hear, so you just agree.”  I don’t know why I chose to write my story from the perspective of a 35 year old woman but I did.  You guys can psychoanalyze that all you want lol.  So here is my story. “Minor Indiscretions.”

 

 

“You know. They always say that if you couldn’t go to jail for it, it’s probably not worth doing.”

I looked up from my drink. “No, no one says that.” I replied.  “You’ve been saying that for fifteen years and I’ve never heard anyone say it but you.”

“Maybe so.  But just because I’m the only one who says it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”  Olivia flashed her winning smile, giggled, and took a sip of her drink.

Whether or not she was the only one who said it, it was the way that Olivia lived her life.  Ever since she waltzed into my world in the seventh grade, she’d lived life on the edge. Olivia had been a rock star from day one.  As the daughter of a Jamaican father and Irish mother, she had been the only black girl in our little suburban school in northeast Ohio.  When she had transferred into the school in the middle of seventh grade, everyone had been in awe. Not only did her skin tone set her apart, but her personality was positively radiant.  Olivia had the ability to talk to someone for five minutes and make them feel like they had been best friends since birth. She was talented in almost every sense of the word; artistically, musically, athletically.  She absolutely excelled in anything that she tried. Me? Well, I was kind of just there.

Which is why it absolutely blew my mind when she had come up to me on the last day of eighth grade and said, “Listen, I need to know right now are you in or out?  Sisters’ pact.” It had caught me off guard so much that I had replied “in” without having even the slightest notion of what I was committing to. We made a pinky promise, our “sisters’ pact” right then and there.  And that’s how I found myself on a flight to Montego Bay to spend two weeks in the mountains of Jamaica.

I still haven’t the slightest idea why she chose me to be her best friend.  Like I said, I’m just kind of there. I’m not extremely intelligent, not gifted in music or art, definitely not athletically talented, and not really even funny either.  My looks are pretty unremarkable. I’m just kind of your average white girl. I’m a brown hair, brown eyes, some freckles, 5’4” B cup average type deal. If I was a car, I’d be a Honda Civic, the sedan, not even the cute hatchback style.  No one sees a Civic on the road and really thinks it’s an amazing looking car or an ugly car. No one really sees it at all. It’s just kind of there and part of the scenery.

However, whatever reasons she had or didn’t have, we were best friends.  We did everything together. My high school and college years were filled with her calling or texting me, “Tell me now, are you in or out? Sisters’ pact.”  Our sisters’ pacts almost always ended up with me sitting at my kitchen table explaining to my parents “And that’s how I ended up falling into the river.” or “And that’s how I ended up getting caught stealing from Wal-Mart to feed homeless people.”  or something like that.

I had grown wiser over the years and started asking what “it” was first.  Sometimes Olivia told me and sometimes she didn’t. The times that she didn’t were always nerve wracking but rewarding at the same time. “That’s how I ended up backstage at a Backstreet Boys reunion show.”  “That’s how I ended up as an extra in the latest Avengers movie.”

As she spoke to me now though, I couldn’t really hear what she was saying.  I don’t know if it was the drinks, the noise in the bar, or that my mind was elsewhere.  I just couldn’t make out what she was saying. I’d already said “What?” three times and could tell she was getting annoyed.  So I ended up just nodding and taking the sisters’ pact to go through with whatever scheme she had cooked up. And that’s how I ended up on a plane bound for Zimbabwe.   

After graduating from medical school, Olivia had volunteered with Doctors Without Borders and spent a lot of time travelling the world.  As happens with everyone she meets, she made friends with people from Peru to Bangladesh, Vietnam to Somalia. As we boarded the plane, she was chattering on about how this might actually work since she knew a man in Zimbabwe who trains monkeys. She also knew that the leader of the Makunde village had a pet monkey that he carried on his shoulder.  At this point in our lives, I had stopped questioning whether or not she really knew the people she said she knew or how she knew things like the fact that the Makunde village leader carried a monkey everywhere. She just did.

I still hadn’t the slightest idea of what I had signed up to do or why it involved a trained monkey.  

“So all we have to do is switch out his monkey with our trained monkey and we could really pull this off.”  

When we sat down on the plane and she pulled out our estimated travel itinerary, I started to get nervous.

Our meeting with the monkey trainer was generally uneventful.  I could tell immediately that the man, like most men, was absolutely smitten with Olivia.  He glanced at me once when we walked in and then spent the rest of the time fawning over her.  It didn’t bother me. I was used to it. When you’re a Civic driving next to a Ferrari, you don’t expect a lot of attention.  She went into the corner with him and spoke to him in hushed tones about our sordid scheme. His eyes brightened as he seemed to have just the monkey for the job.  And that’s how I ended up on a bus in Zimbabwe with a vervet monkey perched on my lap.

As strange as it may sound, the monkey was really quite pleasant and cute.  It was about a six hour ride to get from Harare International Airport to Bikita, the nearest large city to the Makunde village.  However, Olivia spent the time solidifying the details of our plan. “I know it’s risky, but the payoff is totally worth it.” I totally disagreed but what could I do?  I had made the sisters’ pact.

We got to Bikita and walked from the bus depot to a friend’s house.  She lived only a five minute walk away and as we strolled through the streets, I was once again amazed by the ease with which Olivia both stood out and blended in to her surroundings.  She was obviously not a native Zimbabwean but anyone watching her walk carelessly through the street with such confidence would have thought that she had lived there most of her life. She was as natural in Bikita as a polar bear in the arctic.  

However, when we got to her friend’s house, no one was home.  “Dammit! She said that she would be back by now!” Olivia said as we sat in front of the house.  Night was falling and I was starting to get a little more than uncomfortable. We knocked a few more times then gave up.  I figured that we would try to somehow find a hotel somewhere but Olivia had different plans. “You know. They always say that if you couldn’t go to jail for it, it’s probably not worth doing.”  “Still not true.” I thought. However, that’s how I ended up breaking into a stranger’s home at 11:00 at night in Bikita, Zimbabwe.

Olivia’s friend returned the next morning.  She had stayed late at work and slept at her desk she said.  She came in, showered, and headed back to her place of employment while Olivia and I stayed to finalize our plan.  We needed to hike out to the village under the cover of night to switch the two monkeys. No witnesses to see us come and go and the monkey wasn’t going to say anything.  

We left around midnight to begin our trek to the village.  The going was pretty easy. We followed the road the whole way.  Although I wouldn’t have wanted to drive my Civic from home on it (yes I even drove a Civic), walking along it was not difficult.  The moon was out in a cloudless sky and as we walked, I had a strange calm about what we were about to do. Depending on how they prosecuted us, the penalty could be fairly steep.  The sounds of Zimbabwe were soothing and the lack of traffic along the road was refreshing.

We got to the village leader’s hut and I began looking around for some sort of cage.  “Where does he keep it do you think?” I whispered. “Don’t be silly,” Olivia whispered back. “He sleeps with it.”  And that’s how I ended up breaking into a village leader’s hut and abducting his pet monkey.

If that was the least of our indiscretions that week I would have been fine.  It would have been a nice adventure to play a harmless prank on someone. However, Olivia had something much more devious in mind.  As the sun rose, we had taken up a surveillance post in the wildlife reserve about three miles outside the village. We were close enough to view what was happening with some high resolution binoculars but far enough away that we were out of range of the secret service agents that arrived about six hours before the motorcade.

“What do you think we’re looking at if we get caught?” Olivia asked.  “Lock us up and throw away the key? Ten to fifteen years? Slap on the wrist?”

“When,”  I replied “It’s when we get caught.  There’s no way we get away with this. It all depends though… I honestly don’t know the total illegality of it.”

Our conversation stopped as soon as the motorcade pulled in.  It wasn’t actually any kind of real diplomatic mission. It was really just an overblown publicity stunt.  The president was meeting with the village chief to announce a new initiative of U.S. humanitarian aid. It hadn’t even been officially announced hence the lighter than usual security.  There was just enough press to get a few photos and minutes of footage to air on the evening news that night. Not enough to warrant a live press conference.

We watched as the president stepped out of the black SUV that had made the trek down the road to the Makunde village and approached the hut with the elder standing in front.  Our monkey sat perched on his shoulder. We waited with bated breath as the two men talked. When they reached in to shake hands and the monkey jumped from one shoulder to the next, our breath stopped completely.  

At this point, the secret service personnel were met with a moment of indecision.  They had to take in several factors and answer several questions. First, what real threat did a vervet monkey pose?  Second, if the decision was that it posed a legitimate threat, what is the correct course of action? Do you shoot a monkey just for jumping on the President’s shoulder?  After what seemed like the longest five seconds of my life, one of the security personnel moved in to remove the monkey from the president’s shoulder. The monkey made its move and latched its little fingers onto the presidential scalp.  

And that’s how I ended up running through the jungle in Zimbabwe with Donald Trump’s stolen hairpeace stuffed in my backpack.

Comparatives and Superlatives are the Most Worstest to Teach and Complicateder Than You Think.

So this blog post is where I nerd out and rant on the topic of comparatives and superlatives in the English language.  They’re just so much more complicated then other languages.  For those of you who aren’t as grammar-nerdy as me, comparatives and superlatives are when two or more nouns are compared based solely on their adherence to a single adjective.  For example, comparing to shoes based on their adherence to the adjective “small.”  You could compare two shoes by saying that one shoe is “smaller” than the other.  Or you could compare three or more shoes by saying that one shoe is “the smallest.”  So, smaller and smallest are the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective small.

Now, the simplest form of the rule for comparatives and superlatives for English is that you add -er to the end of the adjective for a comparative and -est to the end for the superlative form.  However, it’s not nearly as simple as all that.  Let me just take you through the journey that I’ve gone on with my students this year.

Day #1 – Adjectives

The first step in teaching comparatives and superlatives was learning what an adjective is.  Simple definition is that adjectives describe nouns.  They tell you something more about a noun.  Back to the shoe example.  What kind of shoe is it?  It is a small shoe.  The adjective simply tells you more about the noun.  Even this step is not as simple as it seems.  If the students coming in don’t have mastery of the concept of what a noun is, well then the whole lesson is shot.

Day #10ish – Intro to Comparatives and Superlatives

After about two weeks (10 school days) of rehashing nouns and then masteringish adjectives, we moved on to introducing comparatives.  Of course, the rule I taught was that you simply add -er or -est to the end of the adjective to make it comparative or superlative.  Pretty easy to check that box.  I put three pictures of trees on the board.  I tell them our adjective is “tall.”  So, the first tree is taller, the second tree is..pause waiting for student to answer..taller.  Exactly.  We simply add -er.  And the third tree is the..pause again..tallest.  Fantastic.  Simply throw a good old -est on it and here we go.

We repeated this exercise with different vehicles and the adjective “fast.”  Again, simple.  Simply add -er or -est.

Day #11ish – Words to double the final consonant

The next day, for our opener, I decided I would go off script a bit and let the students pick their own adjectives for the warm-up practice on comparatives and superlatives.  I gave them a pretty broad theme.  They had to choose three animals and compare them using the same adjectives.  Student A chose an elephant, a lion, and a bear.  He was using the adjective big.  So he wrote. “A lion is big.  A bear is biger.  The elephant is the bigest.”…pause.  Things just got a little complicated.  So we stopped and explained that sometimes, you have to double the last letter in the adjective before adding -er or -est.  The next few days were spent covering adjectives like big, wet, fit, flat, fat, thin, etc where you have to double the final consonant.  I was impressed.  Our students tried to analyze when to or not to double the final consonant.  They came up with words that end with t, n, and g.  I was ok with that until….

Day #14ish – Words that don’t double the final consonant

So on day 14, we were talking about animals again.  We decided to compare animals based on speed.  Student B wrote, “A deer is fast, a bear is fastter, but a cheetah is the fasttest.”….pause.  Things just got more complicated.  Now we have to spend a half hour talking about how if there are two consonants at the end of the word than you don’t double the last consonant anymore even if it’s g or t.  So long doesn’t turn into longger, fast into fastest, etc.  Also, if the final consonant is preceded by two consecutive vowels, you also do not double the last consonant…even if it is a g or t.  So sweet does not turn to sweetter nor does clean become cleannest.  So now, students not only have to look at the last letter of the word to determine whether or not to double the consonant but also have to look at the previous two letters.

Day #? – Words that end in vowels

Up until this point, we’ve only really dealt with adjectives that end in consonants.  So now, what do we do with words that end in vowels.  My students were comparing puppies and kittens and saying that they were cuteer and the cuteest. (Adding -er and -est to the end of words).  Ok. So the rule we had to teach next was that if an adjective already ended in an e, don’t add another e.  We’re good.

Day #LordHelpMe – Words that End in -y…mostly

So then there’s the letter y that is special in that it is sometimes a consonant and sometimes and vowel.  Well the next rule we had to teach was that if a letter ends in a y, you change the y to an i and then add -er or -est….except sometimes.  Like the word shy.  If you wanted to say one boy was more shy than the other you would still write that he was shyer.

So, just to count, we’re now on 5 different possible ways to change an adjective into a comparative or superlative.

Day #pleasemakeitstop – Syllable Counting

At this point I’m just about done with this.  However, now we get into longer adjectives.  As in adjectives that have more syllables.  Usually, if an adjective has either one or two syllables, you follow the above rules and add -er or -est in whatever form is required.  Then, usually, if it has more than two syllables, you simply add the words “more” or “the most” in front of the adjective.  So, if you wanted to to compare how complicated two situations were, you wouldn’t say one was complicateder than the other, you would say it was more complicated.  However, this is not a hard and fast rule.  Some adjectives follow the long adjective rule and some do not.  For example, the correct comparative form of the word sincere is sincerer.  On the other hand, the correct comparative of the word anxious is more anxious….And students are simply expected to know the difference because there is no way that we have time to learn every occurrence of each way.

So now we’re at six and kind of seven rules.

Day #I’mEndingThis

Finally, we got to the irregulars.  Adjectives that follow no rules when used as a comparative or superlative.  Luckily, at least half of the students in my class know these intuitively.  For example the adjective many.  It does not turn into manyer, or manier.  You wouldn’t say, “I made many writing errors but she made manier.” You would say “She made more and he made the most.”  Like I said, by the time students have made it to me, they usually know most of these implicitly…..  However, there are some, like me, that are badder than others at it and really struggle to get gooder at it even in adulthood. Happy grammaring everyone.

Gas Leaks

Students at the elementary level have a lot of gas…like a lot a lot.  Thinking about it, it’s probably not that much more than middle or high school age, they simply don’t have the body control or the social acumen yet to realize when the proper times and where the proper locations are for releasing it.  Gas is something that all elementary teachers deal with on a daily basis, but there are three times I can remember that really stood out to me.

All names have been changed to protect the innocent…except Mr. Peters…that’s his actual name.

Mr. Peters and the Nuclear Fallout

Our janitor at the school is named Mr. Peters.  He is an elderly African American gentleman who quietly goes about the building.  When he is interacting with the students at the school, he is almost always gentle, kind, and patient.  I have really only seen one time in an interaction with a student when this was not the case.

We had a set of twins named Rick and Rob at the school.  I worked with both of them for the year that they were at the school.  However, one time stands out.  I had a group of eight students, Rob among them, working with me in the teachers’ lounge which doubled as my reading intervention room.  Rob was always gassy but today was on a different level.  The problem is that not only is it gross but it is also a huge distraction and time waster.  So finally, I said, “Listen, if you really have to do that, you don’t even have to ask me.  Just get up and walk into the hallway and come back.  Give it ten seconds to clear out before you start walking back though.” About five minutes later, Mr. Peters was walking down the hallway and stepped into the doorway of the lounge to ask me a question.  It just so happened that at that moment, Rob felt the urge.  So he jumped up out of his chair, ran to the doorway, stood right next to Mr. Peters, and let it rip.

The look of shock and horror on Mr. Peters face is something that I will never forget as long as I live.  It was the first, and the last time for that matter, that I ever heard him raise his voice at a student.  “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The shock on Mr. Peters face was matched by the shock on Rob’s face at hearing Mr. Peter’s shout.  “Well Mr. Steidl told me if I had to fart again that I should go into the hallway!” “WELL YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO STAND RIGHT NEXT TO ME WHEN YOU DID IT!” To this day, whenever the issue of a gassy student comes up in Mr. Peter’s presence, he just looks at me, shakes his head, and says, “There’ll never be one as bad as the twin.”

Dynamite Comes in Small Packages

It always amazes me that so much gas can come out of such small bodies.  I remember working with this tiny little first grade girl.  She probably weighed all of about 35 pounds.  We were working on letters and letter sounds in a group of probably five students.  She at least had the decency to do what she had to do silently.  But they were powerful.  The kind of powerful that leaves your eyes watering.  Every time it happened, the kids would all look around and then pull their shirts over their noses.  Finally, one boy said, “My God who is that?!?!” To which four of the students said, “Not me!!!!” The little girl looked straight at me with a pleading look on her face and said, “I can’t even lie, it’s been me the whole time.  I just can’t keep them in! I feel like I’m gonna float into the ceiling if I do!”

Don’t Drink the Water…well Milk Actually

My first year of teaching, I was working in our second grade classroom with a teacher named Ms. Dworkin.  We were both first year teachers working on figuring this whole teaching thing out.  I got into the classroom second period and stayed for two full periods which was a total of 90 minutes.  The classroom was on the basement floor of the school and for some reason was not equipped with any kind of fan.  The lack of air movement became most apparent right around 9:15 every morning.  The room would simply fill with this horrible stench that enveloped any and all living creatures within its confines.  In the fall, we mitigated it by opening windows and doors but once the Northeast Ohio winter hit, that became impossible.  I should have bought stock in Glade air fresheners in the fall because Ms. Dworkin and I would go through the classroom with one in each hand like Rooster Cogburn in True Grit just spraying fresh linen or lavender freshness on everything.  However the stench remained.  It was the kind of pervasive smell like when people smoke weed.  Like they spray cologne or Axe or Febreeze to try to cover it up but in the end just end up smelling like whatever they sprayed…and weed.

Ms. Dworkin and I simply could not figure out who the culprit was.  Until one day a student came into class with a note.  It read, “Please do not allow student to drink the milk at lunch.  He is very lactose intolerant and it gives him indigestion and gas.”  The light went on.  The next morning at breakfast I walked in to see this student with three empty cartons of chocolate milk in front of him. I said, “Woah woah woah, you can’t drink those! You know what they’ll do to you.”  He looked up at me and said, “I know but they’re sooooooo goooooood!”