Thursday, December 15, 2016

Me, Too

Freshman English. On the agenda for the day was vocabulary, some time to finish their work from the prior day, and some time to write a story.

Unsurprisingly, they came in a boisterous crowd. I conserved my ire and waited for them to become compliant. (It usually happens some time after the bell. A few "let's get started"s tend to help things along.) Eventually, they took down the day's vocabulary words into their notebooks.

A few seemed befuddled by the word "debut". So, I made sure to pronounce each word before we checked their sentences for correctness.

Next, I reminded them of assignments due the next day. For one, their teacher wanted to make sure their final copy was word processed in MLA format. I related a tip I heard from another student. For clarity, use Google Images for the MLA format search. There are actual pictures of what the final paper should look like.

Finally, for the last half hour of class, they were to write a story using their vocabulary words. One student wrote that his character came down with a blight. I tried to explain that that was not quite how that word should be used. Another student wrote that the devil had a gory smile. Well, maybe...

As I walked the room, listening to amiable conversations only tangentially related to the assignment, I attempted to redirect them back to their stories. I was largely unsuccessful. So, I was unsurprised when many scrambled as I called for their finished work. Many stories were unfinished.

Typical freshmen.

I think I had more fun with their assignment than they did. I couldn't resist. Here were the words they were to use. I think I shoehorned them in rather well:
  1. agenda
  2. amiable
  3. befuddle
  4. blight
  5. boisterous
  6. clarity
  7. compliant
  8. conserve
  9. debut
  10. gory
Feel free to try it. It's kind of fun. 


  1. Replies
    1. Yup. That's how most freshman classes act. Doesn't matter how many times I tell them the assignment is going to be due, they seem to think they have all the time in the world.

  2. You did it well :) Hope their stories wind up making sense!

    1. Yeah, that would be nice. I kind of doubt it, though.

  3. I wondered why the yellow highlighted words but as I read on I figured those were the vocabulary words for the students and then saw indeed I was right. Very nicely done!!


  4. This was an interesting way to write your blog post too. Well done. Full marks! ;-)

    1. As I walked the room, I realized that it would work as a blog post. So, I just had to.

  5. I just had a horrible flashback to my school years. I know I'm a writer, but I'm still terrible at using words if I HAVE to use them :P.

  6. Awesome. And your post was done really well too!

  7. Fun post! I like the devil's "gory" smile. hehe. :)

    1. Yeah, it kind of worked. Although, he also used three other words to describe the devil's smile, so I suggested he tone it down a bit.

  8. I know I would of be a better student now.
    Coffee is on

    1. Hindsight is 20/20. If only some of these kiddos could get a kick in the butt, eh?

  9. Sometimes a little mind game like this is useful to helping the time pass more pleasantly.


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