Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Friday, February 24, 2012

Teachin' Confidential

Hang onto your collective hats. I'm about to let you in on some insider secrets. Science teacher secrets.

Secret Number One: Snakes have buttholes. Really. So there's no need to be puzzled, and even worry for a couple of years, about where the mouse goes after the snake eats it. Of course, most of the mouse is broken down by stomach acids and used for energy. But the parts that remain are eliminated in the same manner other animals, and even humans, get rid of their waste. No, it's not gonna sound JUST SO WRONG when you ask the question. I welcome any serious attempt to gain knowledge. While your peers might giggle and pretend you are some kind of backwards when you point out that, um, you've never seen a hole for a snake's poop to exit...you know that half of them also wanted to know the answer. All it means to me is that you have not been up close and personal with a lot of snakes. Which is probably a good thing, since you can't remember, "Red next to yellow, kill a fellow. Red next to black, a friend of Jack."

Secret Number Two: When the narrator of a reptile video says that a Jackson's chameleon has eyes that sit in little turrets, and that they can rotate 360 degrees, independently...he is NOT saying the chameleon has eyes that sit in little turds. Really. I appreciate you asking. Now I know why the first class giggled at that statement. "What's so funny about turrets?" I wondered. It's not like the pile of water turtles, where some young minds supposed that just because some were stacked on top of others, they were mating. No. Anybody who knows anything about mating knows that it doesn't happen when one turtle is at a right angle to another turtle. But laugh on with your bad selves. I'll make no comment to draw attention to your supposition. However, turrets are quite different from turds. A turret is a revolvable holding device. And a turd is...well...something that might come  out the butthole of a snake.

Secret Number Three: The words octopus's tentacle are not, in themselves, hysterically funny. And they are especially not funny when used in the same context as monkey's tail and elephant's trunk, as to which model was used to create a bendable robot arm. They are funny when mispronounced by a colleague at a middle school academic meet, for example, as, "An octopus has eight testicles..." That right there can get you years of enjoyment, throwing it up to her every few months when she least expects it. The more adult witnesses, the funnier it gets. But for now, a small titter is permitted, even when I carefully and distinctly pronounce it by the book.

Secret Number Four: You really can't beat teaching as a profession. Even your niggling little questions, like, "I don't mean this to be rude, but, um, did you always plan to be a teacher? Do you like being a teacher?" You're not raining on my parade, girly. You're not dousing the fire that burns within me, to spread knowledge to those of you thirsting for it, yearning for it, much like Charlene Frazier, office manager for Julia Sugarbaker.

Now remember, what we have here are secrets. Hold them close to your vest. Lock them up and throw away the key. Put them in your pipe and smoke them. But never, ever, let these cats out of the bag. They're insider knowledge.


Stephen Hayes said...

I promise not to divulge.

Linda O'Connell said...

A fellow teacher who was very shy came rushing in one Friday to tell us something she'd heard on the radio, "I heard this on the Friday Morning Joke off." Only she didn't say JOKE, and we teased her for an entire year just to make her blush.

Sioux said...

A SMALL titter? Not as funny as a big titter.

Secret # 5: You MUST--at all costs--avoid the word "balls" unless you preface it with "soft" or "base" or "kick" or "basket."

Secret # 6: Stories in a reading textbook like "Westward Ho" must have a lengthy introduction and explanation. The teacher must fill them in that this is NOT a story about a cowboy and his ho, no matter how much more interesting that story might be.

(Note: These are secrets that probably only elementary school teachers know.)

Josh Hoyt said...

Sweet these are wonderful secrets. BTW I think that teaching is one of the best jobs in the world. Also, I wish my kids had you as a science teacher. Maybe we will have to move again any school psychology jobs in your neck of the woods?

Val said...

Consider your confidentiality agreement on file.

Teachers say the darnedest things.

The textbooks are out to get us. In my chapter on Newton's laws of motion, a paragraph insists on using BALLS no less than eleventy-hundred times. I have the CD that projects the text through my laptop, with a disembodied voice reading it. Even though the first reference includes the word "billiard," and there is a picture of a pool table on the screen, the sniggering could barely be contained.

Be careful what you wish for! In my neck of Backwoods, we have school counselors. Their knowledge of psychology varies. But we must be doing something right, because we have a very low staff turnover. Most years, the entire district has one (or none) job openings. And that's usually in elementary.

Charlotte said...

I love the secrets. I hope I can keep them--not likely ;)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I had always assumed that snakes had buttholes. What goes in must eventually come out. I promise to not tell about the butthole of the snake.

Val said...

Just make sure that you preface the re-telling to each person with, "Promise you won't tell anybody, but..."

Who knew that buttholes are among a snake's best-kept secrets?