I used to to tell my students that by the end of their semester with me, they’ll have caught STDs.
There’s this story I tell them, and I usually regret it. So, I’m going to tell you and ultimately regret it, I’m sure. But it does directly connect to Mama Kat’s writing workshop prompt below, so hang in there with me.
4.) Dig out your high school yearbook and share a message a friend wrote that stands out to you.
|9th grade yearbook picture
When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take Health. You know, the required class where you learn all about how to eat well and be healthy and not catch STDs?
One of the projects we had to do was to choose an STD out of a hat and then research and report on it. My memory of the entire process is a little fuzzy, but I will never forget that moment when I walked up to the front of the classroom to pull my STD out of a hat and pulled the only word that rhymes with my name: Chlamydia (ok, perfidia also rhymes with my name, but I didn’t know it was a word until somewhere way after college — and to top it off, it’s not even English).
Mortification cannot begin to describe. I knew that asking for a different disease would bring more attention to my embarrassment, so I just returned to my desk and hoped no one really caught on to the quite-obvious rhyme.
Unfortunately, they did. In my memory, I was taunted and picked on for the rest of my high school career. I have told my students that my entire freshman yearbook was riddled with references to Chlamydia Lydia. Heck, one of the classes I taught even created a t-shirt that included a representation of the STD.*
|Our AP shirt.
(Representation of Chlamydia on far left)
When I saw this prompt from Mama’s Losin’ It, I knew I could find all those notes from friends. Hubby and the kids and I went upstairs and got the box out. I poured through my yearbook, and alas, this is the only one I found:
Funny how we remember things so differently. This teeny tiny moment that probably no one else in my entire high school remembers became an integral part of my teaching career.
* It sort of became a tradition for my classes to make t-shirts. Some were better than others, but they always included funny inside stories that no one outside of the class would really understand. This particular class was an AP English Language class, and I had taught them all about STDs: Syntax, Tone, and Diction. See? You were worried I was all inappropriate and stuff, weren’t you?
The rule in my classroom was that what happened there stayed there. It was a lot like Vegas. Except without the gambling. And the weddings. And Celine Dion (although wouldn’t it have been cool if Celine helped me teach The Scarlet Letter? I mean, Hester’s heart totally went on even without Dimmesdale).