Friday, September 28, 2007

Three Odd Mice

I think I have tennis elbow. Not from playing tennis. Laws, NO! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was never very good at tennis. She thinks she acquired this tennis elbow from a mouse. The mouse that sits at the right hand of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and scrolls through life with her, singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah, drinking cherry Kool Aid, wearing a big smiley face t-shirt. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, not the mouse.

In other mouse news, the Absentminded Professor has bought himself a $30 wireless mouse as a gift for Lappy. He used to use one of those scrolly-finger thingies, and then tired of it and went to the rectangular pad thingy on Lappy himself. The problem with this new, unattached mouse is that he uses it in the LSUV. That means when I round a curve, that mouse gets to steppin'. Just today, as I pulled out from the bank, Mousy made a beeline for my lap. So I told the boy, "If that mouse jumps into my lap, there's going to be an accident."

If there had been a mouse in my classroom today, he would have had a good chuckle. One of the students was a bit intractable. I offered a chance to work with partners on the assignment, with the stipulation that I picked the partners from my deck of index cards with their names. I told anybody who preferred to work alone to speak up now. Nobody did. We pulled cards. One child did not like his partner. He stated that he would work alone. Which all agreed was OK, because there was an odd number, and the last card went with the abandoned partner. But thennnnn the loner was spotted sitting by another set of partners. No. Not permitted. Go back to your own seat. You chose to work alone. The child muttered and puttered, but knew he had no defense. He went back to his seat. But lo and behold, a minute later, and that partner group had moved up the row to the seats behind him, and he was turned sideways leaning on one's desk. No. Not permitted. You chose to work alone. I don't believe you are working alone if you are leaning on that desk. Turn and put your feet under your own desk. Oh, dear me! A tantrum erupted the likes of which I haven't seen in one this age. He turned. He huffed. He picked up his desk and put his feet under it, clanging a bit too much. The kids on the other side of the room were snickering. I did not say anything except, "Oh, my." He had no idea what a fool he was making of himself. I could not draw further attention to him. He huffed and puffed all hour. Poor thing. He is having a rough time learning that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, and not he, is the boss of the classroom. And if there had been a mouse under my desk, it would have gotten quite a laugh. And some round holes of paper that fell out of the 3-hole punch while a kid was fiddling with it. Which is why Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has that Never Ever rule about touching things on her desk.

And we now conclude our mouse trilogy for this evening.


Mean Teacher said...

I have lots of huffers and puffers. I think I'll try the "oh my" approach. Then again, the only thing that has worked so far is completely ignoring them unless it was really distracting and continued for more than a minute or so.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I have another kid who is a GOOD kid who sighs so much I think he is going to pass out. Methinks he does it for attention, like when my kids were little and they would go, COUGH! COUGH! until you said, "Are you OKAAAY?"

The "Oh, my" was actually used for the desk-clanging. He sits at the front of a row, so they all saw his little tantrum. I didn't want to let it go, but I didn't want to make too big a fool of him. The huffing came after I moved to the back of the room, as I am wont to do several days a week, just to observe from a different angle. Some of my math kids were still laughing about it in the afternoon.