29 January 2007

"Poor things!" "We're not things!"

So everyone at school is sick. By "everyone" I mean my students and I. A few of my colleagues are out and a bunch of eighth graders threw up today, but the real meat-and-potatoes in my life -the sixth grade set- is indubitably, unbelieveably ill.

Only half of the sixth graders showed up today and the half that did come brought their own boxes of tissue. (But that's also because I made them.) I left school after teaching my last class because I have a runny nose and fever too.

One of my best students, the one who won an Outstanding Student Award, asked if she could just lay her head down in class ("yes"). The two other Outstanding Student Award winners (the ceremony was yesterday) didn't show up because they had fevers.

We're just watching films this week in school, which normally goes against everything I believe in (I'm overly strict about having them read, write, and do groupwork every day). But they just don't have it in them to do anything this week.

Today we watched the first half of "Nanuck from the North," a 1913 documentary about an Eskimo, which ties into their reading 'Julie of the Wolves.' What I didn't realize before I put the DVD in was that it's a silent film.

So I taught them about Mystery Science Theater 2000 and assigned rotating narrators to comment on Nanuck's family of seven in the sealskin kayak, the castor oil taken after eating too many seabiscuits, and Nanuck's insistence on feasting on raw walrus. It worked well, except that most of them can't really talk because their voices are so scratchy.

It's been four months since we've had a vacation and I just hope we get through the week without any more sick kids. They're tired from the History Fair, the Science Fair, and finals, and just have to make it until 3:25 Friday.

Which means I just have to make it until 3:25 Friday.

betholindo at 02:44

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