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The Teachings of Mrs. Cap’n Firepants

 

One of my students wrote this on my dry erase board, and it made me feel –  well, dead.  I mean, I don’t know anyone alive who has “teachings”.  The only people I can think of that have teachings are  Buddha, Confucius and Socrates.  And, while that “s” at the end of the word “teaching” appears to give my time spent in the classroom an extra sort of  dignity that I never knew it had, I would like to state, uncategorically, that I am not dead.

Oh wait, I think the Dalai Lama has “teachings”, and he’s not dead.  And Yoda.  Who technically isn’t dead when you think about  it…

Since I do have aspirations to join the Order of the Temple of the Jedi, my “teachings” may be similar to Yoda’s.  But, I like to think I’ve put my own spin on them.

Size matters not a lot:  Every year, my 5th graders watch an A&E video that lists the top 100 people of the last millennium.  Because there are a few artists in the list, I always preface the video by reminding the students that sometimes artists portrayed the human body unclothed, and that I expect the students to handle this maturely when it appears on the screen.  This lecture worked fine when we were watching the video on the tiny t.v. in the corner of my classroom.  When we transitioned from that to a big screen and projector, though, I don’t think anyone was more surprised than me when the full-frontal closeup of the statue of David by Michelangelo made its appearance on our 4′ x6′ screen.  To their credit, the kids did not start snickering and guffawing until I tripped over my own feet racing to find the remote.

Do or do not… there is no try but at least give it a try: O.K.  Yoda was so wrong here.  You have got to try.  If I told my kids what Yoda said, their response would be, “Thanks.  I think I’ll choose ‘Do Not’.”  Maybe that works when you are training Jedi Knights who weren’t raised on Earth, but on this planet trying is pretty much the only thing we can do.

Grave danger you are in. Impatient you are I am:  I probably can’t take credit for this one because it’s some weird phenomenon that works with all kids.  If you start counting really loud after you’ve asked them to do something, they suddenly rush to finish it.  You don’t have to give any kind of consequence or even tell them a final number.  They apparently have been programmed to think the world will blow up if they don’t complete their task.

You must unlearn what you have learned when your teacher accidentally showed you a bigger than life-size David statue on the screen:  I wish I could unlearn that, too.

Control, control, you must learn control where is my remote control?:  Not just a problem when really well-endowed sculptures suddenly appear on the classroom screen, Remote Control Loss happens to me on a daily basis.  Partly because I have so many to keep track of:  projector, document camera, iPod player, etc…  I’m not really sure what my students learned from this, other than the fact that it was easy to convince me they had turned in an assignment, and I just “must have lost it” – most likely in the same place where I set the remote(s).  I’ve decided that, next year, I will just velcro them to my face.  (The remotes, not the assignments, and certainly not the students)

So, there you have it, all of my wisdom in one handy, printable blog post.  If I decide to come up with any more gems, I will make sure you are the first to know.  If I’m not dead, of course.

“Do or Do Not; There is No Try”

For the last six months or so, I have been trying what I like to call the “Scattershot Approach” to creative thinking.  Hence, I started this blog and my “Control Blog”.  I have been entering contests, posting inventions on Quirky, trying to sell lesson units on Teacher Pay Teachers, and basically tossing spitwads of ideas up to the ceiling trying to see if any will stick.  I have been using my patented “Scattershot Approach” in my photograpy for about 15 years, and it has been moderately successful.  Take a billion pictures, and hopefully there will be at least one usable one in the batch.  Fortunately for my paltry retirement savings, the invention of the digital camera keeps me from spending every last dime on film in the hopes of producing one picture to throw into Dimples’ scrapbook.

So, anyway, one of the spitwads just fell on my face yesterday.

Loyal readers might remember my request a couple of months ago to help me choose which post I should enter into the Erma Bombeck Writing Contest.  The contest that is held once every TWO years.  The contest that will gladly accept your monetary contribution for ONE and only ONE entry.

After the readers voted, I had two top possibilities, “Who Do You Think Pulls the Sleigh?“, and  the “And With Also You” story. I let someone (I’m not naming names, but he is married to me) help me make the final decision.  He liked the Santa Claus story the best.  Considering the nature of the contest (named after Erma Bombeck, who usually wrote about her family), I decided he was right.

I agreed with He Who Must Not Be Named, and sent in “Who Do You Think Pulls the Sleigh?”.  So, it’s not his fault – though I may bank it to use against him at some later date.  Because I did not win.  Not first.  Not runner-up.  Nuttin’.  Out of a mere five hundred something entrants, I could not come even close to the top.  Kinda hurts.

I mentioned this to the Firepants family at dinner, and the humans of the family (and I’m pretty sure the canines had the same question based on the look on their faces – though that could also be their “what are you going to give me from the table?” look even though we never do) both immediately asked, “What won?”  Good question.  I was so bummed when I got the e-mail, I forgot to look.

After dinner, I opened the painful YOU ARE A LOSER e-mail back up, and clicked on the winner link.

Keep in mind, that my almost-sent-in-submission was called, “And With Also You”, and was about my contemplation of joining the Order of the Temple of the Jedi.  Now, take a gander at the winning story by clicking here.

Someone Up There has a really twisted sense of humor – and it ain’t Erma Bombeck.

And if you really like Star Wars related humor columns – here is someone else who won a contest that I didn’t.  I didn’t actually enter that contest, but that is beside the point.

I may have to meditate at the Temple of the Jedi to determine my next course of action. photo credit: niallkennedy via photopin cc

 

 

And With Also You

Temple of the Jedi Order

I am considering becoming a Jedi Knight.

I’ve checked out the Temple of the Jedi Order, and it appears to reflect most of my religious beliefs.  I am a little hesitant, however, in committing myself to a religious order in which none of the council members have last names, and one of them is named War Beauty.

You might ask what inspired me to consider this life-changing decision.  I can’t really pinpoint the origin, but I think there may have been several factors.

#1 – The Catholic Church changed some of the wording in the mass.  This makes it very hard for me to think about my grocery list while I am mindlessly repeating responses I’ve spoken for 40 years.  If I become a Jedi Knight, then I can say some of the cool lines I’ve memorized from the Star Wars movies instead.

#2 – While I was standing against the wall between Stations of the Cross #4 and #5 at the Christmas mass that was apparently attended by every breathing person in San Antonio, I began to question how my spirituality was being enhanced by trying not to faint as I watched a little boy in the last pew practicing his Star Trek Vulcan hand shake.

#3 – I heard a story on the radio claiming that there has been a rise in people listing Jedi Knight as their religion on censuses being taken in other countries.  Which means it’s not a trend yet in this country.  I LOVE to be a trend-setter.

#4 – The Jedi Creed happens to be a variation of the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, who just happens to be my favorite saint.  Because he always has animals surrounding him in his statues.

#5 – They apparently have two Corporate addresses – one in the United Kingdom, and one in Texas – the state in which I happen to reside.  That can NOT be a coincidence.

#6 – I will not have to be in a mixed marriage because my husband already worships Star Wars.

#7 – It will sound so cool when I run for political office to state in my ads that “I….Am a Jedi Knight.”

I have not applied for membership, yet, as I still have a few questions.  My biggest one does not appear to have been answered on the Temple of the Jedi site, so I had to look elsewhere.  The results were less than satisfactory.  You see, one of the recent changes in the Catholic Church has been to modify the standard response to the statement, “The Lord be with you.” Formerly, the response was, “And also with you” but is now, “And with your spirit.”

I can’t get it right.  I either say the old one, very loudly and wrongly, or I say something to do with the Spirit that is far more complicated than the actual response:

“And with the Spirit of St. Louis.”

“Goin’ up to the Spirit in the Sky.  That’s where I’m gonna go when I die.”

“We’ve got Spirit.  How ‘bout you?  We’ve got Spirit, yes we do.”

My brain is apparently not equipped to remember the Vatican’s version.

So, I thought I better check the response to, “May the Force be with you.”

Apparently, this is a point of confusion for the Jedi.

So, I’m putting a hold on my membership until this little detail gets resolved.  After all, I don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the Fires of Hell.

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