Core scripture: “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting” (Job 8: 21).
Message: God has a sense of humor. Amen? He knows teachers need laughs this time of year. The way I look at it is this … I can either let the chaos of the last weeks of school get the best of me or I can choose to laugh. Having taught for 14 glorious years, I have laughed all too many times. When I was wondering what to write about last night, I began thinking … why not share some of those moments? Why not sit here at my computer this morning and reminisce, laughing at some of the craziest moments this 40-year-old teacher has endured. All that being said, let’s embark on a journey I shall call … Moments That Made Me Laugh! (Gotta work on that title.)
The Thong: My first year of teaching I somehow pulled lunchroom duty. Working the cafeteria with my good friend Brad, we came across a problem we had never heard of or seen before. A student politely tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You can see her underwear.” At first I was like Big deal, but when I looked and saw a white thong staring back at me, I was like Dought! I drew the short straw, being the rookie teacher, and had to tell the kid to pull up her pants. I truly wonder if that is why our 9th graders moved to high school!
Serious Qualms: You might have some qualms with this as well. If you are well-versed in the English language, you will know that a qualm is a problem of some kind. When one of my 7th graders used that word in his book report, however, it was … um … odd. Of course I found his book report on the internet, completely plagiarized word for word. When he arrived in my class the next day, I asked him if he had any qualms with me. He promptly replied, “What the heck does that mean?” Busted!
Popping Her Cherry: So, we’re reading the Outsiders way back in 2005 or so, and we come across the scene when Ponyboy Curtis, a Greaser from the wrong side of the tracks, meets Cherry Valance, a preppy cheerleader. I pose the question to the class, “So, do you guys think things could work out between these two?” Cartez—still remember that kid’s name—raised his hand gloriously with a mischievous smile on his face and called out, “I think Pony’s gonna pop her cherry!” Note to self … never call on a kid with a mischievous smile on his face.
The Jolly Rancher: This one happened recently, not in my class but in my friend Jordan’s. One of our prized gems, who shall remain nameless, presented a slideshow to the class. His last slide, which he thought he switched, was a single sentence: “I am a jolly rancher.” Mic drop.
Random Bible Verse: Poor Ezekiel. God asked the craziest things of him. Not only did He tell Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days, but He told him this about his food: “And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung” (Ezekiel 4:12). Hey, at least God listened to Ezekiel and allowed him to use cow poop instead of human poop. (And I’m sorry, at least for guys, just saying the word poop will always be funny.)
Jack Squat: Remember Chris Farley? Saturday Night Live’s “Van Down by a River” sketches from the mid 1990’s? If you have no clue what I’m talking about, just type in “Chris Farley Motivational Speaker” and you’re sure to find a few sketches. Well, my 7th hour class was pushing my buttons over, and over, and OVER about a month ago, and I actually told them that if they continue acting like this, they won’t amount to JACK SQUAT! I didn’t realize my own folly until later. Needless to say I roll my eyes every time 7th hour says JACK SQUAT. They actually thought it was hilarious, and quite frankly, so do I. And yes, I did humble myself immediately following and apologize. They were cool with it!
Best Cheater Ever: The title here is meant to be said with complete sarcasm. I am reading handwritten essays a LONG time ago, and I come across a boy’s paper that is written in huge bubbly female handwriting. Across the top of the paper is a pathetically erased comment that I can still read. The comment, completely incriminating the boy, said, “I can’t believe I am writing this for you!!!” Nuff said!
Video Game Violets: When you read over 100 essays about the same topic, you look for ANY reason to laugh. The topic? Video game violence. The kid’s topic? You betcha … video game violets. I was truly hoping he would go into detail about how flowers related to video games, but he didn’t. Maybe next year it could be video game daffodils? Or video game roses? Or video game marigolds? Sorry, I’m not a gardener. No more flower names are coming to mind.
Alright, I could probably go on, but we’ll stop there for today. I hope at least one of these stories brought a smile to your face. Lord knows I could use a few laughs too, so if you can top any of mine, I challenge you: share them in a reply here! I would love to get full participation here to give me plenty of laughs to power me through the last week and a half of school. The benefits of laughing are all too important! According to https://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm, it can protect the heart, burn calories, and help you live longer. Share some laughter today, and remember to keep a light attitude the last few weeks of school. God indeed has a sense of humor!
Challenge: Take the last few weeks of school with a lighthearted attitude. Be forgiving. Laugh. Show grace when needed, and when you can’t beat em, sometimes it is best to join em! Scroll down on my previous blogs to read “Dabbing 101” and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And please, if you have a story that will bring a smile to anyone, reply back here for us ALL to get in on the fun!
Song to bring it home: Alright, so I can’t think of a song, but I have the next best thing, and it comes in two words: Tim Hawkins. Pull up any of Hawkins’ videos and I almost guarantee some laughter, but my favorite is his parody of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” cleverly entitled “Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife.”
Prayer: Lord, let me not take the last few days of school too seriously. Let me find the happy medium between laughing lightheartedly with my students and allowing total chaos around me. Give us all plenty of laughs and smiles to combat the frustration that may overwhelm us. Amen.