tormenting the neighbor

My students made a large horse out of chicken wire.

I guess it was going to be a Trojan horse. It took up a lot of space in my classroom.

I put a Roman helmet on it and moved it into France. Or French class.

Sometimes the French teacher clenches her teeth so hard I’m afraid she’ll get lockjaw.  You think its me?

The Trojan Horse on the throne of France

what really happened inside the Trojan horse

This is not ENTIRELY mine. A student looked at my version, a sophomore no less, and commented that I didn’t have a unifying connection in the dialogue that would create tension and build up to the final denouement. Then he walked off and sat down for class. I didn’t know whether I wanted to smack him upside the head or give him chocolate. He wrote in Odysseus and the song at the end. If he didn’t get credit he would think up some diabolical trick to play on me.  The ten pound skipping stone he bought me is another story. Here we go with this story.

Odysseus:  Listen up men! We’ll exit on my command.  Troy is ours! Now

1st soldier: Its dark in here

O:  What?

!st:    I’m a little afraid of the dark. You know, just a little. You can’t see things.

O: Quiet! After we turn off Oracle boulevard…

2nd:  I know what you mean. Something can crawl on you and you don’t know what it is.

O: you’re trained soldiers for Joves sake!

1st: and you begin to imagine teeth, hairy little legs… its worse when there are more than four because then it’s a bug. Hey, is that your hand?

2nd:  no

1st: well, whats that running down my leg?

2nd: its my lunch

1st: you eat insects?

2nd:  its crab

1st why is it moving?

2nd:  I didn’t have time to kill it. 

1st: can I have a bite?

2nd: sure

1st: it just bit me!

2nd:  you know its fresh

O: Pay attention!

3rd:  its hot in here

O:  O for…

3rd:I itch under my armor. Maybe I could take it off. just for a little while

O :NO!

Sulky silence.

3rd:  you’re touching  me.

2nd: no I’m not

3rd: yes you are. ODYSSEUS! He’s touching me.

2nd:  I am not. Its  my sword

3rd: that is NOT your sword.

O: ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS on our formations when we leave the horse?

3rd:  Do we have a war cry? Like  COWABUNGA! Or charge! Or  run in one direction at high velocity!

O : I should have known that question was a mistake

1st: so when do we get out?

O: when the Trojans get drunk and fall asleep.

1st: why are they having all the fun? Why can’t we party too?

O:  because once they finish having all the fun we invade the city, take all their stuff, kill everyone and burn the city down.

1st: Oh.

3rd: anyone want to hear some music? Get us in the mood for pillaging Troy!

Everyone: YEAH

They all sing:  Oh, into the  meadow filled with daisies, I go to see my prince. A kiss!  A kiss! A kiss is all I wish! My prince……

Odysseus stabs them all from behind. Another opens the trap door.

 Soldier:Odysseus, the coast is clear!  ( looks at bodies)

O: it’s a long story.


and then the Greeks built a giant talking fiberglas trout, with which they would deceive the Trojans

sometimes to see who cheats, or to entertain myself, I make different versions of the same test. I scramble the order of the answers and don’t tell the class. I also sometimes put such absurd choices down that the student is really only left with one or two options.

BUT ….for this to work, you have to actually read  the questions.

I  gave  a short quiz on the Trojan war. Most people got an A or B.  A  few took it several days later when I changed the order of the answers.

Question: Troy was in present day:   a) Turkey  b) Roast beef   c) Greece   d) Italy

Question: the Trojans were tricked by: a) a giant wooden duck   b) a talking fiberglas trout

c) a jack in the box    d) a giant wooden horse   ( is this question a gift, or what?)

Question: the king was married to:  a) male name of enemy   b) male name of enemy

c) male name of enemy      d)woman’s name

People who took the test later wrote down the exact letters for a perfect score. IF you were taking  the first test. Here are their answers.

  •   the Trojans were deceived by a talking fiberglas trout
  •  the king was married to another guy who happened to be the enemy
  •  Troy was located in present day roast beef.

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.