Nothing But a Number

My first period class is learning about preparing a persuasive speech, and to start today's lesson, I asked how they try to convince other people to come over to their way of thinking. Some common methods mentioned were bribery, threats, and begging.

"How about guilt?" I asked. "Haven't any of your mothers brought out the old, 'I carried you for nine months ...'?"

"Oh, yeah," they said, in a manner which suggested that they have heard it many, many times.

"I'm thirty years old, and my mother STILL uses it on me," I said. "She can't even REMEMBER being in labor, but she sure knows how to pack for a guilt trip."

"YOU'RE THIRTY???? NO WAY!!!" they said. And then they began throwing out numbers, ages they had guessed for me. The highest was 25.

So I gave them all As and let them watch television for the rest of the period.*

One of my third period students--one of the few that DOESN'T make me want to tear my own arms off--said to me today, "You're my favorite teacher, Ms. Flower."

"Well, okay," I said, because I figured I was getting buttered up. "But you still have to take your test."

"I know; I'm just saying. And my mom likes you too."

I really didn't know how to reply to that one. "Um. Thanks?"

"She thinks you're really good for being so young."

"[stifled laugh]"

"What? How old are you? Twenty-two?" he asked, confused. I was turning purple in front of him; the poor baby probably thought I was having a seizure.

"Uh, no. I'm thirty," I said.


So, all in all, it was a pretty good day.

*No I didn't. I might, though, if they have the same reaction when I'm forty.

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