Mother and I are going off to Maine for a week starting tomorrow, so before I go, I thought it would be nice of me to share this story.
About three weeks before the end of school, I did a mini-Grammar Olympics unit to really drive home you’re vs your, their vs. there vs. they’re, and other common mistakes that would make me scream if I saw them years later in a letter inviting me to their Nobel Prize ceremony.
Dear Miss,Your invited to my Nobel Prize ceremony. It will be held in a mountain lodge atop the Swiss Alps, and I’d be pleased if you could come their. Thanks for teaching me all the things.Love,Student
Anyway, that’s not the point of this story. The point of this story is that I often make a fool of myself.
It was a Monday, if that tells you anything. We had just finished our Holocaust unit the week before, and I’d been letting my students use my document camera to project images on the wall for them to trace onto posters and other projects. If you’re technologically handicapped (as I am) and have never heard of a document camera before this moment, it is basically a machine that is able to project and magnify actual documents and other 3-dimensional objects. In other words, like a high-res video camera. It can also be hooked up to a computer and project the screen. They are very expensive, and the only reason I had one was because of government grants to Title I schools. This is what it looks like:
See that swiveling head at the top? That’s important.
After I had shamed them with an introductory activity in which they all botched the usage of your/you’re, I turned on the doc cam to start showing them some examples on a worksheet I had printed out. It takes a little while for the camera to warm up and begin projecting, so I used that time to write my name and date at the top of the paper because I’m a child.
That’s when I heard the whispers.
Actually, I first felt their nervous energy. It’s the same energy that fell over all of them when our administrator would walk in the room, or when Charles was in our class and would say something outrageous (this was my clam class, by the way.) Then, whispers. One small, quiet child clasped a hand over his mouth.
“What?” I said. “Did I forget to switch from PC to camera mode?” Sometimes that happens and it makes my clams nervous. I looked up at the projected screen.
Six feet in length and six feet in height, on the board, was my cleavage.
“OH,” I said, rotating the camera head downwards so fast I almost broke it, silently damning the children who had been adjusting it the week before. Once the worksheet was on the board instead of my anatomy, my clams breathed a collective sigh of relief, then began consoling one another from the shock and shame of the event.
I, of course, allowed myself 30 seconds to laugh maniacally, then went about my business. Then I thanked my stars that it didn't happen with my werewolf-piranhas.
P.S. Be aware that I would never wear anything even remotely revealing to school. If anything, I usually look more like a Puritan (see #2 on this post). But even a Puritan can shock people when the angle is right.