. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: “What the…?”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

“What the…?”

So there's a new trend in my classroom lately. The frequent use of:

"What the…?"

No, they don't finish it. They simply say, "What the…?" whenever something is unclear or shocking to them, leaving me wondering how they might have finished that sentence if I weren't standing in front of them.

"What the…helicopter?"

"What the…fudge brownie?"

"What the…heck can I do to make Ms. Lee's life run more smoothly because she's the light of my life and the greatest teacher OF the world?"

Somehow, I think not.

But the use of "What the…?" has permeated my class, despite my constant reminder that NOT finishing that sentence is tantamount to ACTUALLY finishing that sentence in my book. Despite consequences, conversations, recriminations, and public stoning of repeat offenders (ok, not really), they continue to try to sneak it in as often as possible.

Can't figure out a long division problem? Look confused and say

"What the…?"

Lost the note the supervisor gave you for me? Pat around on your jeans' pockets and say

"What the…?"

Get your butt kicked at tetherball? Shake your fists at the heavens and yell

"What the…?"

Fail your vocabulary test…again? Throw on your mask of disbelief and whisper

"What the…?"

See you mom waiting for you after school…

in her pajamas…

and wearing heels?

Shake your head and mumble

"What the…?"

(Ok, I'll give 'em that one.)

Little do they know, we teachers would never STOP saying "What the…?" if it were allowed. They scenarios that we face daily with these kids and their wacky families topped off by our cracked out administrations could potentially leave time for little else but "What the…?" responses.

Parent complains that the kids line up in alphabetical order and their child is always last so he never gets to walk by you (even though you walk at the end of the line)? Scrunch up your eyebrows and think

"What the…?"

Seven hundred eighty-sixth child raises their hand on a Monday morning to share a "One time, when I was blah blah blah" story? Shrug and think

"What the…?"

Principal sees you in the office and says, "Edna! Come on in! I have a favor to ask." Frantically develop your next excuse to stay off of a committee and think

"What the…?"

See! We all have "What the…?" moments, but if teachers don't get to say it, neither do the kids.

What the ___ do you think of that?


Mister Teacher said...

Walk by a table of 3rd graders and catch a whiff of something that reminds you of an open septic tank...

What the??

Edna Lee said...

Good one!

That reminds me...

Sit across from a student while he reads aloud and catch a whiff of something that reminds you of an open septic tank...

What the??

Anonymous said...

It kind of reminds me of the "My bad" comment from a few years back. It seems like they always have something to say that just applies to all circumstances.

Anonymous said...

More "What the __" moments for you:

1. Reading student compositions, and finding references to the boys in blue-numerous times-in unsavory situations. I shouldn't read a story by a 10 year old that states "Have you ever gotten in trouble by the police? I have..."

2. Leading a training, and hearing co-workers reply " I didn't know that science involved so much thinking.."

3. Seeing a parent come to school with money weaved into her hair.

4. Parents of kids not even in your class coming to "talk" to you because they "heard about you." Usually of the opposite gender and extra creepy...

5. Seeing your students come to school with the latest Air Fusion Nikes, but no pencils or a backpack.

6. When one of my kids-usually one of the bright ones-catches on to my shock at something none of the other kids notices and gives me a "look."

Melissa B. said...

WTF...how OLD are these kids? BTW, don't forget Sx3 today...we could use your singular sense of style!

Edna Lee said...

Hey Mister Teacher and CFC!

Thanks for the class participation! I love your examples!

Well, I'm off the check out The Scribe's Sx3!


askthehomediva said...

One of my personal favorites… "Are we doing anything today?"

What the…

I personally respond with "What in the Sam Hill do you think?"

Edna Lee said...

Whoever Sam Hill is, I'm sure he'd be proud to know his name now replaces an expletive. I know I would!

Jeremy Marotte said...

My neices say this all the time. Apparently they got it from Sponge Bob.

Mister Teacher said...

CFC, I have to give a DOUBLE What The..." for your example number 3! I'd love to hear the story behind THAT one!!

Anonymous said...

Your post makes me laugh. I know how frusterating it can be when students do not listen to what you say or ask them not to do. Since your students keep saying that phrase, I suggest you sit them down and have a talk with them about why it is unacceptable to say that phrase. I know you might have already tried that method, but maybe sending a note home to all of the parents and telling them the situation that is going on in your classroom. This hopefully will help you in your situation with your students!

Sarah said...

At least they don't finish it!! My kids have no problems using the real words. Yes they get in trouble, but they have no shame.

Mr. McGuire said...

What the ...

How dare you get this stuck in my head so I think about it all day tomorrow. :)