For Sardis, Mississippi on the First Day of School: Student Quotes

A part of me is very sorry I am not still in Sardis at North Panola High School teaching English for a third year. From Greenwich Village, I am with you all in spirit! In honor of the first day of school, here are things students said during the last two weeks of school back in May. Go Cougars.

Ninth grade boy walks into my class and sniffs the air. “I came here for a cup of coffee.”

Ninth grade girl saunters into my classroom while Ryan and I are having a conversation. We pause and look at her. Student: “Y’all like being teachers?” Me: “Yes.” Mr. Eshleman, almost at the same time: “Sometimes.” Student: *Laughs a deep, long, throaty, knowing, and possibly evil laugh.*

Found on a kid’s back as he walked across the room to get a Kleenex

While listening to Serial podcast, we pause for understanding. “Why didn’t they just give Adnan a polygraph test?”

Students arrive. “It smell like…coffee beans.” “…and lunch meat!”

In the hallway before school, where teachers sit, work, and monitor the goings-on, one girl sits next to Ryan’s doorway, presumably for the good company. She stares at me while I check my email and plan a lesson. At one point, I look up at her and smile. “Could I plan your wedding?” she asks.

Me: “So to be full-fledged means to be fully developed.” Student: “So you a full-fledged woman?”

“We do beaucoup poem-writing in here.”

The last full class of my honors students: Bliss. Quiet. Lovely. Productive. Mini-essays about Kiese Laymon’s essays. At the end, we have five minutes to debrief, and I make sure they know my e-mail address so they can contact me when I’m gone. “So, are you taking this road trip, like, for vision?” I pause. “You mean perspective. Exactly.”

Originally published at on August 6, 2015.

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