Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 51st State

Thursday's post brought to mind an old incident that I blogged about before (July 28, 2007, to be exact). At the time I was posting my blogs elsewhere. So, I thought it was about time I reposted this here.

It was near the end of the day. I had two students just sniping at each other as much as they could (though, to be fair, they spent most of the period quietly working). The boy was calling the girl stupid while the girl was berating everything the boy said.

It was a government class, and they were studying Congress. I tried to draw the conversation back to the topic at hand by asking where the largest congressional district was (it was a question on "Jeopardy" a little while ago). The answer: Alaska.

So, the girl comes back with, "That's our 51st state."

Now, I hate to have to side with the boy here. I was trying not to take sides. The girl wasn't really that stupid (she was on task, after all). But...

I explained that Hawaii is the 50th state. I explained that there are only 50 states. But the girl insisted. She was sure that there were 51.

"Count the stars on the flag," I said.

But then the bell rang, and she was out of there.

Sometimes, the students scare me a little.

And since this happened two years ago, I can tell you that the last I heard, the girl had graduated. The last time I saw the boy, he was in the reentry class, and he had to be booted from class for returning to class late after the break. I have no idea if he has since graduated.

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