Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Below are three encounters with students that were equally saddening and hilarious. My students know that I love them and I've changed the names of those involved. Enjoy.

Derek is a bright kid. He gets it. He even gets it theologically. However, in my classes, he can often be found trying to sneak a nap in. To put it bluntly, his classroom diligence doesn't quite match his intellectual capacity. Derek's class had to do a research paper for their midterm exam. His content was good. You can tell that he is bright. However, the last sentence in his opening paragraph ended with this parenthetical remark: "Mr Thompson, this paper is going to nock your socks off." Aside from how flippant, colloquial, and unnecessary it was, the misspelling of knock was classic.

Jessica is also bright. She asks great questions. She gets frustrated when she doesn't understand something. One day, I gave Jessica's class a test. One of the bonus questions asked for something in Hebrew. Because this was a bonus question, after the question I wrote: "Mr Thompson will be hugely impressed if you get this." Jessica did not answer the question, but rather, underlined the phrase "hugely impressed." Underneath her pencil-scratched line, she wrote the following: "Mr Thompson, this is not gramitically correct." Jessica was right. It isn't gramitically correct to say "hugely impressed." It is, however, grammatically correct :)

John has a big personality. He is happy. He is an athlete. He is curious in a healthy way. You can tell that John loves life. Most kids at school enjoy John's company. Recently, I was introducing the prophets of the Old Testament to John's class. When I read the name of the prophet Hosea, John curiously and happily said, "Mr Thompson, there is a prophet named Hosea?!?" This was my response: "John, what would you do if your pastor stood in the pulpit on a Sunday morning and said that he had been praying and he feels that God wants him to marry a whore?" He looked at me like I just cussed his mama. "John, that's what the whole book of Hosea is about!" Needless to say, he was intrigued.

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