fee knicks

19 07 2008

Today is my last day in Phoenix. Whereas this is true, I want to share three funny things I found here while teaching brilliant-but-generally-odorous 6-year-olds.

1. On my long, non-air-conditioned bus ride from ASU to Pastor, there were a lot of really funny signs. There was one that said, “DIVORCE: $200. MARRIAGE: $50.” And then, presumably, you could have either of those things if you would just go behind the sign. There was a sign for “The Best Gun Show Phoenix Has Ever Seen” near a bus stop by Pastor, which advertised all the bigwigs of gun-toting and the fun activities (gun bingo anyone?) planned for the afternoon. It looked more like a poster for Lilith Fair than for firearms.

Of all these signs, however, this one was my absolute favorite one:


Let’s talk about this. To me, this poster suggests that if you are suffering from an injury from any kind, you can call the year 1981, and a man in a sports suit will pick up his rotary phone and laugh at you.

YOU: (gasping for breath) Hi, (OOOOO. UGHGHGH. OWOWOW..) is this (OW!) Lerner and Row?

L&R: You sound injured.

YOU: I AM injured! I was stampeded by a heavy bison and knifed by a bandit and shot by several outlaws!


YOU: …Hello?


YOU: … I… think I’m dying…

L&R: One call that’s all!

YOU: Excuse me? What does that even mean?

L&R: One call. (Ominously) That’s. All.


2. My friend Bethany, who is teaching high school English, found this on the Write Source Web site. Remember Write Source? It was that book with the ’80s-looking neon people on the front usually wielding pencils and looking kind of frumpy. You had to use it all the time in the fourth grade. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually stole my copy. Shhh. This is an exemplary essay for grades 9-12. It was probably chosen because Write Source was trying to be hip and publish an essay on a “hot, up-and-coming musical group.” Here’s the first paragraph, which is truly the pearl of the work:

Something happens inside of me when I listen to the music of the Counting Crows. Raw, uncensored emotion pours from the mouth of lead singer Adam Duritz. His voice seems to naturally synthesize with the background music of guitars, pianos, organs, drums, and accordions.

When Adam sings, it’s as if he’s ripped open his chest and is exposing his heart and all of its contents, regardless of the cost, because that’s how much his emotions mean to him.

Does this not remind you of liner notes that slightly emo dude who had a crush on you in high school wrote on the moody mix CD he made you?

I really hope the writer of this essay (her name is Abigail) sent it to Adam Duritz. Because if I was Adam Duritz, I would fuck this girl as soon as she turned 18. Check out the two paragraphs of the piece:

Adam’s poetic lyrics move me to the depths of my soul. With just a few words and the emotion in his voice, he can make me feel as if there is a starry summer night inside of me . . . or a lonely, empty hotel room. There is nostalgia behind his lyrics and a canvas painted with love, loneliness, devotion, and disappointment.

During the production of the band’s first album, Adam’s most important goal was to “make a mark upon the world.” If it’s worth anything, he’s made more than just a mark upon my world; he has painted me a sky and filled it with stars.

My favorite part is the canvas painted with love, loneliness, devotion, and disappointment. I don’t know about you, but i picture disappointment as kind of mauve.

You can read the rest of the essay here.

3. Finally. All summer, my students have been writing me letters to prepare for their writing exams. Some of these are just priceless. So for the consumption of the general populous, here are The Best of The Best of The Summer School Letters: Vol. 1. Names, obviously, have been changed.

Dear Johnson,

I like to woke with you and I no it is my last bay but I wish I cued stay with you I wish I can stay with you for 100,000 weeks.

best wishs

Love Eliza

Dear Mrs. Johnson

Tank you for the latare [letter]. It was nice of you that you gifted a latare, the latore was so pritty, and It was so But so pritty. I like your driss Because it looks pritty, and I like that beause I like pizza and I miss you when you left.

Best Wishes,


Dear Ms. Johnson

My favorite movie is Spiderman. My favorite movie is Ironman. I want to be a fireman. Or Ironman. My dad gave me some house.


Dear Mom,

I like pizza beouse it has peperoni and cheese and it good and hot and yes u can eat pizza and it shape is a tringle and my favorite shape is a tringle.



Dear Mrs Johnson,

You are the best techer ever and I like to play with you fres tag and the game shos. And singing the songing and playing more stuf and you are the best techer because you give us lots of your stekkers.






2 responses

21 07 2008
a. conwell hall

on an almost-related note:

the last essay is incredible, as are “day I got cookie,” the narrative about a Christmas tree burning down, and a story about being backstage at a Michael Jackson concert.

13 08 2008

Getting stampeded by a bison — well that DOES sound serious….

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