Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Sometimes my students are pretty clever. Their assignment was to create a picture to represent a word from The Pledge of Allegiance. I took these pictures of some of their work last month. And in honor of recent events I thought I would post them.

Here is the final product on my classroom wall.
The rest are picture representations of "indivisible". My favorite.
"We are a country undivided. We stand together as an unbreakable chain of people."

"One nation, under God, indivisible..."

"Indivisible. Like gum stuck to a shoe."
"I love you Steve." "No, Martha! Don't go!" (Their mice being sucked up by a vacuum if you can't tell.)

I love that they were able to take the word indivisible, define it as a country that is always unbreakable, and create something to represent how we will always stick together.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's Love Got to Do With It?

"What's love but a secondhand emotion? What's love got to do, got to do with it..." ha, great FM100 song. :)

I know all of these posts have been about love, but I can't help it. I guess that's what you get when you're teaching the world's most well-known love story. Which is actually kind of funny, because I don't think they were in love at all. And that's kind of my question for this post.

Everyone talks like Romeo and Juliet had the greatest love of all time because they died for each other. A love suicide if you will. But I think a lot of people forget some of the facts of the story.

Here are some in a nutshell:

#1: At the beginning of the play, Romeo was in heartbroken over another girl. She didn't love him back and he was pining for her. Big time.

#2: That same day, his cousin convinced him to go to a party to see if he could find another lovely lady. He at first refused because there could be no one else, but eventually gave in and went to the masquerade.

#3: He met Juliet briefly at the party. Just long enough to say hello, whisper sweet-nothings in her ear, use cheesy lines to get her to kiss him, kiss her twice, and then Juliet is whisked away. She leaves and they don't even know each others' names. Let alone that their families have been feuding for years. But alas, it's too late, they're already in love.

#4: The famous balcony scene. He sees her on her balcony. He calls to her telling her how beautiful she is. They exchange vows of love. How romantic. However, I bet your English teacher skipped over the other things they were doing that night. And they could because who really understands what Shakespeare is saying anyway? :)

#5: Please remember, this is the same night that Romeo got over Rosaline, he met Juliet, kissed her, fell in "love" with her, met her on the balcony, slept with her, and then what?

#6: Oh yeah, they decide to get married. Secretly. They've known each other less than ten hours. And we can't forget that Juliet is already supposed to be marrying another dude.

#7: And she's 14. I know it was a different time, but her father had just said she needed to wait two years. Because married at 16 is so much better than married at 14.

I just don't think any of that would equal love. Sure, I guess it's possible to meet someone, think they're cute, and suddenly want to be with them forever. But that's not love. That's a crush. And sure it could grow into love. But in this case, I'm saying no. Especially since it was less than a week's time before they died. And they weren't even together during it. Romeo had been banished.

So no, I don't believe that Romeo and Juliet is a love story. It's technically classified as one of Shakespeare's tragedy plays, and I do think it's tragic. Tragic that no one was able to stop this mess before it was too late. Stupid Friar.

Now, this has me thinking, what does make love real? If it's not the classic Romeo and Juliet, then how do we describe it?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love Response Part II

And just when I think I've seen it all, I get this response:

"I find this complaint to be valid at certain points, but nonetheless stereotypical. It's as if they think we're all mindless idiots. Unfortunately I have heard older people say this, and unfortunately this is how typical teenager would respond:

"You're wrong, man! Love conquers all and we know how to solve all of our problems. I know for a fact that when I grow up I'll be a (insert unrealistic job occupation here). So don't judge our love, man. But you're right, I don't care about family or tradition or any of that. I only need love."

Well. At least the students aren't too shy to share their opinions. :)

Does Love Conquer All?

We are starting Romeo and Juliet with my ninth graders. So therefore we are talking about LOVE! What a pleasant topic to talk about with a bunch of hormone-ridden teenagers. :)

It really can be fun to talk and hear their opinions about something that is ALWAYS on their mind. They do become interested quickly.

There was one in particular today that really made it worth it. After asking them if they think older people are wrong when they tell younger people that love can't solve everything and that the kids need to be more responsible, this is one's response:

"No. You're wrong. Love can solve anything. You guys are just mad because you guys are old and we are young and we can still run, jump, laugh, and doorbell ditch and you guys can't do that."

And after I got over the offense that he was calling me old (come on, I'm not THAT old), I thought that maybe he's got a point. When we get older we lose the chance to be wild and crazy, or even be active without being extremely sore in the morning. And I can't doorbell ditch anymore and I've never even thought about trying it for quite some time now. Perhaps I am getting old. Who knew you could judge your youth by doorbell ditching?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just to Put it Simply...

From one of my student's responses:

"In conclusion, everyone might think you're a weirdo and you might die alone. Just sayin."

haha, I love the bluntness.