my little cabbage

My French grandmother told me many years ago that ” my little cabbage” was a term of endearment.

Cabbage? who knows. its the French.

So I got a brussel sprout, donated by a Latin/French student.  its a little cabbage, right? nasty little suckers.

I hot glued it to a white board and left it on the French teacher’s computer.  Mon Petit Chou.

Her: What the hell am I going to do with this once it starts to rot?

Me:Not my problem now.

Its still on her desk, mummifying.

my little cabbage

my little cabbage

The apology

I used to teach French to kindergarten through 4th grade. None of them knew my name, I was just The French Lady. This was my teaching technique:

“You guys won’t remember anything I teach you. ”

“Oh yeah? We will so!”

“Nope, you won’t. I’ll prove it to you.  If you remember these four words, you get a point. If you forget them, I get a point.”      Then I made the scoreboard.

me you guys scoreThis generally put them into a feeding frenzy. If any classmate had dared to forget a word they would have lynched him.  Every point I got took up the whole board. I made their  points  tiny dots on the board. If they started to win, I would say,

“You know, I really hate kids.”

“Oh yeah? Then why are you here teaching kids? You don’t hate us. You LOVE us!”

I first heard my dad say this to my daughter when she was four years old, and I was appalled.

“Why should I give you lunch? I don’t even like you.”    She didn’t even bother to look up from her book.

” Yes you do Pop Pop. You love  me lots and lots.”

So I tried it.  The kids don’t believe me either.

One day a first grade class got very rowdy.( I’m sure I had nothing to do with that at all)  The teacher was mortified and made every child make me a card with an apology.  One card said this:

im sorry but thas all

Thas  it.  Thas all I’m getting.

Ten years later a student stayed after class to talk to me and mentioned where she had gone to grammar school. It was where I taught ten years ago. And then it hit me. “Did you have really blonde hair and a ponytail?”

It was her.  And I still had the card.  Which I of course brought to class and told this story to her mortification every chance I got.


the duck caper

One day a French teacher decided to kidnap the German  class mascot, a tiger striped wooden yellow and black  duck. Yes, I was wondering the same thing.  Who knows?  German, its like a cult. They don’t need a reason.

Anyway, a substitute teacher told us  the duck  was  in French class. So at the end of the day, my kids trooped down to her class with a diversion, leftover cake, and in the confusion we snatched the duck and ran like hell.

Now, the duck isn’t little. At least four feet long.

tiger striped wooden duck with roman helmetWe sent a picture of the duck to the Germans with a message:  ” We have the duck. Send ten thousand deuche marks.” Yes, the duck is wearing a Roman helmet.

We then hid the duck as carefully as one can hide a four foot tiger striped duck in a classroom. We then sent another photo of us all gloating over the duck.

The substitute teacher, in a moment of sadistic glee, did not tell the French teacher who stole the duck. The French teacher walked around frantically, no doubt  muttering      “Oh, merde! He’s going to  kill me!”  meaning, no doubt, the German teacher.

While I was out of my class for ONE period, SOMEONE came in, found the duck and absconded with it.

The Spanish teachers all acted totally innocent, like they hadn’t seen anyone running out of my room and down the hall with a four foot tiger striped duck in tow. Right.  Channel 6 news would have shown up for a shot of  people running down a hall with a contraband duck.

This incident clarified for me a glaring lacuna among my possessions. I do not have the equivalent of  the duck. So I set my students to making a Trojan Horse.  And its bigger and taller than the duck.  The problem was at the end of the year when I had to do something with the horse.  My husband looked at the horse and said, ” Just what are we going to do with that?

horse looking out windowHe looks out the window, waiting for the day he does battle with the duck.