a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Thursday, March 12, 2015


the bike that actually belongs to me outside a lakeside antique shop
March 7, 2012

I am not sure if you know this about me, but I am a bit of a rebel.

I was reminded of that today. 

But this story actually begins this fall…

In October our 8th graders took the EXPLORE (an ACT predictor test) to determine high school placement.  Each day, there are two test sessions with a short break between. 

During one such break, the dean decided it would be a good idea to tell one of my students that he had lost the privilege of riding his bike to school…for the REST OF THE YEAR.  While this may have been a fair consequence (thought I am pretty sure going from multiple warnings to NO BIKE FOR THE WHOLE YEAR with no brief suspension of privileges is probably NOT a fair consequence), that is beside the point. 

The point is this student should not have been given distressing information like this IN THE MIDDLE OF A TEST! 

So, to put him in a good mood again, I started joking with B before jumping into the instructions for the second test session:

B:  It is so unfair!  The dean said I can ‘t ride my bike to school ever again!

Random other student:  Hey B, she said you couldn’t ride YOUR bike to school ever again.  Just get someone else’s bike!

Me (aka ‘The Rebel”):  Not a bad idea!  B, can I have your bike?  You know, since you can’t ride it to school anymore anyway?

 B:   Suuuure…?

Me:  Thanks!  Hey, umm…since I don’t have room at my house, can I store it at yours?  Oh, and by the way, since it’s there you are welcome to borrow it any time.

The class laughed, B smiled, and everyone got down to standardized testing business with a lighter heart.  I didn’t think twice about it…

That is until the next morning—when B showed up to school with “my” bike. 

Needless to say, I don’t think the dean appreciated my inner rebel.

That brings us to today—ISAT testing.  Each day of ISAT testing we have two test sessions with a short break between. 

Our leadership team decided to create themed dress-up days to get students a bit excited.  Today’s theme was “Dress for Success.” 

B showed up dressed in sneakers, sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a bathrobe.  Sure, this was sort of a snarky nod to the theme, but he definitely was cozy and ready for the test!

During the break today, I noticed one of the deans confront B about his attire.  He was told that his bathrobe violated handbook rules (Really?  We have a rule against wearing bathrobes to school?  On dress-up days? ).  B was forced to remove the bathrobe and store it in his locker. 

Left with just a t-shirt, B walked back to my chilly classroom, disgruntled. 

The other students had witnessed the event with the same disbelief I was feeling.  They were as righteous as I was because we had talked about the necessity of being in a positive frame of mind during a high stakes testing situation.  They started to call out that they were all going to wear bathrobes tomorrow in solidarity  (though this kind of passive resistance appeals to the rebel in me something fierce, visions of the bike situation came flying back).  Just then a random student spoke up.

Student:  Mrs. Rush, B should just give you his robe, then you can let him borrow it and he can’t get in trouble for wearing HIS robe anymore! 

Perhaps I have taught these students a little too well!   

1 comment:

  1. I remember this one and had to snicker through it the second time. You are a rebel in a quiet, don't cross me, or mess with my kids kind of way. Next time I look into your eyes, I will be searching for that bit of spark to remind me of your rebel spirit. Been a rebel lately?