Friday, August 22, 2014

Let's Rethink That Proposed Handbasket Factory

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is torn tonight, my friends. Torn between pouring all of her time and effort into her proposed handbasket factory, or using it to pursue a patent for the manufacture of a new tool sharpener. Uh huh. Because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has discovered this week that her current crop of new charges do not appear to be the sharpest tools in the shed. Which is not to say they're challenged in the IQ department. More like challenged in the Listen To Mrs. Hillbilly Mom department.

First I instructed them, prior to, and in the middle of, emergency drills to exit the building through the back double doors less than 20 feet from my classroom. They had to be herded like skittish cats back down the hall to this proper exit, having stampeded in the opposite direction toward the cafeteria. The fire and earthquake and intruder laugh at their folly.

Then I told them how to turn in their tests: answer sheet on top of question packet, all in one stack. Well. You can imagine how THAT turned out.

One class turned in the answer sheet and EACH student traipsed back to my desk with the questions, asking the question: "What do I do with this?"

Another class insisted on making two stacks, where there was only room for one. They balanced those question packets on an edge of the student desk and the back of the student chair.

Yet another group turned the answer sheet face down, then piled their question packet on top of my science magazines.

But here's the best part. I instructed each class to put their name on the line of the answer sheet that said: NAME. And to put the test number on the line marked: TEST NUMBER. I showed them how each test had a red, hand-written number in the upper right corner. The new group actually did well at this task. It was the older kids who could not complete this simple command.

Here's what I got from just one class:

*Three papers with no test number.

*Two answer sheets with "1" listed for the test number.

*One answer sheet with test number "5th."

When I asked if they remembered how I had instructed them to put the test number on the answer sheet, and read them the nonconformist answer sheets...The Blanks declared they didn't understand what a test number was. One of the "1"s said, "Oh. That's me!" Nothing else. When I looked it up, her number should have been "11". Perhaps she thought that was redundant. Mr. "5th" merely shouted, "That's mine! I thought you meant the class period." Because, of course, when I want the class period, I make a line that says TEST NUMBER.

Yes. I think the market could use a good tool sharpener.


Sioux said...

You might need a machete to complete the sharpening that is necessary...

Hillbilly Mom said...

I was thinking more along the lines of a slow grinder type of mechanism. Or perhaps a Dremel tool. We are not barbarians, you know.

Are you The Lopper? Was that YOU Jerry was avoiding when he stayed at the broken-up girlfriend's apartment instead of walking home after dark through the park?