Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Do the funky chicken...

With thanks to Rufus Thomas.

One of the things I like best about going to see Ray's family are the new stories I get to hear. Of course, I often get to hear the old ones repeated a few times, but it's always worth it to get new material.

Ray's sister, Ms. B, is a first year elementary teacher, and she had me in tears with some of the stories she was telling me about her students.

She teaches fourth grade, and she's ended up with most of the students that need extra help or a little intervention. Unfortunately, she doesn't get a para-professional to help her manage the class. She gets to do it all on her own, and I admire her fiercely for it. I also admire how she doesn't completely lose it when the bizarre happens, which appears to happen frequently.

Take for example, young Mr. J. He's a good kid, but he still has trouble writing his name, and he seems to go off on his own little tangents occasionally.

The other day, the kids were all working in groups, with Ms. B walking from table to table to supervise. It was then that she noticed Mr. J inching toward the door, holding his jacket balled up in his hands.

"Mr. J, where are you going without permission?"

"Um, I...well, I was going to the bathroom."

"May I ask why you are taking your jacket with you, since the bathroom is indoors?"

"Um, well, you see, I thought, mostly, you know, I might...get...cold?"

At this point, Ms. B, has walked over to Mr. J and taken his jacket, which is when something fell on the floor.

It was a rubber chicken.

Not a matchbox car, not an action figure, not a comic book. A rubber chicken.

Ms. B told him it would be confiscated if she saw it again.

Two days later, the kids were all working on their spelling. She set Mr. J to his list, and things seemed to be going fine. Until she looked over at Mr. J and noticed that the pencil was not in his hand, but clasped in the beak of the rubber chicken, and the chicken was doing the "writing".

As Ms. B was trying to talk to Mr. J about his latex poultry, Mr. J began making very quiet clucking sounds, and the rubber chicken started to peck at Ms. B's shoulder. I give her credit for not grabbing the thing and chucking it out the window. Although she did confess to having to step outside her class for a moment.

But this young lad's obsession with G. gallus doesn't end there.

The following week, the kids were working on math problems. Ms. B noticed that Mr J wasn't doing a whole lot of work.

"Mr. J, are you working on your math problems?

"Um, well, no."

"May I ask what you are working on?"

"My chicken."

And sure enough, instead of arithmetic, he had drawn a lovely chicken. Ms. B said it could have been a Rhode Island Red, but she doesn't know much about chickens.

Except that the rubber ones do bounce if you throw them against a wall.


my two cents said...

Great story! My mother worked in education for 35 years. She often sighed and said, "It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round." I believe it is true. Hey, there isn't any code word today! That's odd.

Diana said...

Well, at least it's a chicken and not a weapon...

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Well, the saying about kids doing (and saying) the darndest things didn't make itself up. What in the world is the attraction to the chicken?? Do we really want to know?

And while I'm at it - Damn willowtree and all of our naked code spaces. What are we supposed to make fun of each post??

Mya said...

That's so funny! And weird. Rubber chicken...Nope. I just can't see the appeal.

Mya x

Willowtree said...

I think you've just identified Dubya's replacement.

Willowtree said...

PS. Thanks for the WV

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh my Lord, I was so scared he had something else rolled up in that jacket...

Fan story Jen, and she does sound like a saint.