Friday, April 20, 2007

Laugh Or Cry

I have a story to tell. I know, quite a surprise, huh? It's actually kind of two stories, but they both happened today, and they both made me think: you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Which brings me to that Stephen King story, "The Body". The kid, Vern, is not so bright. He has buried a jar of pennies under his porch, but can't remember exactly where. So Vern spends all his time digging for his pennies, which may or may not have been stolen long ago by Vern's hoody brother, Billy. And Gordy, the narrator, says, "You don't know whether to laugh or cry" about Vern digging all those holes for pennies that may not even be there any more.

Am I the only one who remembers this scene? It's in the movie, Stand By Me, as well. But whenever I mention it, people look at me like "Humor her. Just let her make the point, then we can nod politely and go on about our business of planning our regular kick-a$$ party to which she is not invited. Ever."

Anyhoo...one of my classes was doing some journal writing, and a kid raised her hand and asked, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? How do you spell photo blahblah?" I asked her to repeat herself. She said it again. I heard, "Photo blahblah." So I said, "I'm sorry, I couldn't understand the last part. Photo- what?" I was thinking what's going on? Am I having a stroke? I've never heard a word like that before. What is she saying? The girl said it clearly: "How do you spell photo-grapher?" I was flabbergasted. So I just spelled it. After all that, I was much too exhausted to tell her, "It's pronounced phu tog ra fur."

The other instance occurred this morning. I gave my mathies a little worksheet for bonus. It had some facts from the four core subject areas. They had to subtract without calculators, fill in some blanks about electrons, put some sentences in proper sequence to tell a story, and answer some geography questions. There was a paragraph about maps, and part of the question said, "Name the seven continents."

I had even allowed the students to work in pairs. Here came a couple of them to my desk. "We don't understand this question." I looked at it. On the three lines that were given for them to write the names of the seven continents, there was only one word. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was NOT a word. It was this: aeiouy. And one of the kids said, "I didn't know there were seven. All I can think of is six."

Sweet Gummi Mary! This was not the class referred to me for English! These were the mathies--the students whose English skills were OK, but whose math skills were suspect. Not only did these two misread 'continents' as 'consonants'...they didn't know the difference between vowels and consonants.

I did not let on. I just said, "No, it's asking for CONTINENTS." Supposing that saying it louder would make them understand. Just like you do with foreigners. It worked! But sadly, Russia is not a continent. And neither is Mexico.

Some days, I am merely a part of the problem.

6 comments:

Betty said...

Sometimes I feel so very sorry for you.

Redneck. Diva. said...

LMAO!! Continents! Good gosh...it's so bizarre it has to be true.

And I do remember that scene from The Body and also from Stand By Me. That was such an awesome story and one of the rare times that a SK movie turned out as good as the book/story.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Betty,
Do you play the world's smallest violin? Or as we call it around these parts: fiddle.

I will count on you to host my next pity party. And in case you're thinking about declining, let me share THIS fresh H*LL with you...

Today, I was left with one kid in the room for about 5 minutes. She wanted to show me a picture of a pet on her cell phone, so I gave her permission to bring it to my desk. While she was standing right next to me, SOMEONE farted.

I know it was not me. And though it was silent, it redeemed itself with DEADLINESS. How she could stand there and pretend nothing was happening, I'll never know. Even the boys in that class have the common decency to ask, "Can I step out in the hall for a minute?"

You do the math. Two people. One fart. EVERYBODY is going to know who did it.

Now I'll get a really extra-special pity party, won't I?


Diva,
WHAT? There was a shadow of a doubt that one of my stories was TRUE? Who do you think I am, James Frey?

I'll have you know that even The Ice Baby was technically truthful.

I have hated all of the other SK movie adaptations. Especially the TV miniseries of The Stand, my favorite book. The only good part was the casting of Rob Lowe as Nick, and Bill Fagerbakke as Tom.

Stewed Hamm said...

M-O-O-N... that spells Bill Fagerbakke.

(Word Verification: Adghtbwa - One of the seven continents, located between Russia and Mexico.)

Redneck. Diva. said...

I wasn't doubting your truthfullness, Oh Hillbilly One. Goodness no! Pardon me, Purveyor of All Things Educational and Hillbilly. I grovel at your hillbilly feet. (How was that? I don't grovel much, so let me know how I did.)

I agree that the casting was excellent in The Stand, but the movie was atrocious.

Hillbilly Mom said...

StewenKing,
Just don't make Tom drink poison. Laws, NO!

Diva,
You give good grovel. Now stop it! You know I do not like commenters who kiss a$$. I was just funnin' with ya on the doubting.

Why can nobody make a good Stephen King movie? It's never like I pictured it in my head. Which is, perhaps, a good thing.