Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Better than a Tattoo?

8th graders are strange.

It was a U.S. history class, and for 8th grade that means from Columbus to the Civil War.  The section of the book they were in discussed the Missouri Compromise and the election of 1824.  They were supposed to be reading and taking notes, but these were 8th graders, so I found it useful to do the notes with them.

Before they did the notes, they were to study their flashcards for 10 minutes.  This meant that I had to go to each set of partners, remind them that they should have flashcards out, and explain the concept of what studying flashcards meant.  "I should see you showing the card and hearing an explanation of what each term means."

After one circuit of the room, they were all on task.

Some groups wanted me gone, and so were clearly doing what they needed to do.  Some groups wanted to interact with me.

One boy showed me the palm of his hand.  From a distance, it looked like he had written "HI" on it in blue fine-point Sharpie using dashed lines.  Up close, I could see that he had used thread to stitch the "HI" into his palm.

Insert incredulous reaction here.

I tried not to visibly react.  Why had he stitched it into his hand?  He hadn't gone deep enough to draw blood, but he had gone under some of his skin so that the thread would stay attached.  At least, I don't think he used glue on it (but that's a much more comforting thought).

The only answer I got to, "Why in the world would you do that?" was, "It's cool."  Then he showed it off to all his peers.  Many of them didn't understand why he had done it, either.

1 comment:

  1. 1) I'm jealous that 8th-graders are doing American History while I'm stuck teaching the Middle Ages.

    2) If you're going to sew a message in your hand, I can think of more offensive messages. Perhaps he'll be a fashion designer? Surgeon?

    Or not.

    Thanks for the laugh!

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