Monday, August 20, 2007

"Something interesting"

Context: I am terrible with recalling my students' names, it's taken me 13 years of teaching to realize (read: admit), so last spring I asked students on the first day, when I called roll, to tell the class "something interesting." It worked pretty well, so I'm doing it again this fall.

Me. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Quiet student. after several seconds of silence I can't think of anything.

Me. Oh, come on now.

Quiet student. after several more seconds of silence Well . . . I burned down my family's house last Christmas Eve, and they thanked me for it afterwards.

Shocked laughter from the class

Me. You see, you just look a little deeper . . . you'll find something interesting.

Welcome back to school, y'all.


Winston said...

Yeah, welcome back. Is this for real? He burned down the house? And they thanked him for it? More than just an interesting tidbit there, maybe an entire story...

John B. said...

It was a she, and she offered up enough detail that it seemed plausible. As to your observation about a story's being in there, I agree. They thanked her, by the way, because the fire forced the family to rebuild, and they ended up with a better house than they had had before. But, as they say: Don't try this at home.

emawkc said...

Her last name is Soprano is it?

Yeah, you might want to just go ahead and give her an A for the course.

Ariel said...

I'd say if you play this right, there could be a book deal involved for someone. Ask her if she's willing to give you legal rights to develop the story as a how-to book. It could also work as a short story.

domeheid said...

Nice one! Made me laugh. You have a good sense of timing.

My elder brother, who was left home alone after Christmas a few years ago, once left the advent ring burning overnight on the coffee table. He awoke to find the coffee table part of an extended candle-wick with a large black hole in the middle and the tree considerably less uncharcoaled than when he left it. We've never let him forget it. Luckily, the house didn't burn down and my parents have since bought a better coffee table with drawers and everything.

John B. said...

A belated thanks for coming by and commenting.

Apparently, this adult child internecine fire-setting thing is more common than I had suspected.

Camille said...