Tuesday, February 17, 2009

madness indeed OR i'd like to go to the abigail adams

so we are in what is called "midwinter madness," this is a cutesy way of saying that the library is overrun with children who are all out of school this week. it is complete mayhem. we didn't open until 1 today and in that time i had 50 children doing a scavenger hunt around the library, another 50 kids doing word searches about president's day, and then i taught about 20 kids how to make friendship bracelets out of hemp (he he he ... hemp). i have to say, these kids are not as adept at tying knots in string as my sister and i were at their age. i mean, we were friendship bracelet making machines. these kids were a bit spastic, so i had to add some bling to their bracelets. and when i say bling i mean small colored plastic beads. urgh, i am exhausted.

then, there are a gazillion kids who have these homework packets that need to get done. so this 8 year old kid comes up to me with a 20 page packet of dittos and asks me for help. he has a ditto in which there is a paragraph talking about a fictitious class that is trying to decide where to go on a field trip. then he has to fill in three suggestions of where to go on a field trip and then explain what would happen at said location. this would be easy, except for the fact that this kid doesn't speak english.


now, i try my best not to just give out answers willy nilly. i do have ethics, surprising but true, and i believe these kids should figure this shit out themselves. how will they learn otherwise? but i decide to give this kid the first answer, suggesting that maybe the class would like to go to the zoo. "and what would happen at the zoo?" i ask.

blank stares. he has no idea what i am talking about. so i prompt him ... "you'd see animals at the zoo, right?"

oh yes, he nods excitedly, yes that is what would happen at the zoo. so then i ask him to think of somewhere else a class might go. i am thinking things like: museum, circus, aquarium, etc. what does he say? "abigail adams."

okay, that's a bit random. shake it off. so i explain that abigail adams is a person, and that we are looking for the name of a place. "what is a place?" i ask. "any place that people might go to? any place at all?"

"abigail adams," he says again. he is very serious about this. he wants to go to abigail adams. suddenly, i am wondering who the hell is this kid and is he playing a practical joke on me. and if not, how is "abigail adams" the only english phrase he knows? how does that happen? how exactly does an 8 year old hispanic kid only know how to say the name of a long deceased first lady?

so then i give him a second answer, "a museum, right? el museo, si?" i say, prompting him. "a class could go to a museum. and what would they see in a museum?"

and then he looks up at me with his big brown eyes and asks, "the abigail adams?"

and so on and so on until i basically did his entire homework sheet for him. now, i ask you ... did this kid really only know how to say "abigail adams" or was that just an extremely clever way to get me to do his homework for him?


Anonymous said...

Or he is just fixated on Abigail Adams?

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

i still am having trouble comprehending how a small child becomes SO fixated on abigail adams, that it is the only thing he can say. but i guess anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

Meh, maybe a teacher mentioned her or he overheard something about her on television (they had that John Adams special not too long ago if I remember correctly.)

I remember becoming fixated on some odd things as a child, and just saying some silly things because I liked the way it sounded.
I really, really liked the color green. I liked it so much, I called everything "green". I would even call my Pink Panther doll, "Green Panther" even though it was clear to me that he was in fact Pink, no matter how many times I said otherwise. My parents knew I wasn't colorblind so they would just scratch their heads.
Some kids can be strange like that I guess.
Who knows though. maybe he just likes saying Abigail Adams? Or maybe he was actually trying to get you to do his homework ;-) It is an amusing story though.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the shout out with the bracelets...we were masters with that! Maybe Abigail Adams is the name of a school or something? Who knows. Hang in there.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

I can honestly say I have no idea who Abigail Adams is. This kid is smarter than me! But this is quite hilarious, if a little sad - for me AND him.

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

i believe she was a first lady, maybe married to john adams. my knowledge ends there.

Candy said...

Hey I was "the" hispanic kid once and Hell beat me and call me spanky! I dunno who the hell Abigail Adams is!