Ah, Youth

There are words we say at home. There are words we say at church. There are words we say in private.

We say some words with friends. We say some words with family. We say some words with colleagues.

All words have their time and place. And there are some words we shouldn't say.

One of my students said those words that we shouldn't say. We were in the midst of a lesson about SI Units, and I was failing to control the class effectively. Frau Funkenhausen was out of the classroom this day, so I was flying solo.

Much like a lone top gun pilot flying over the fruited plains of this fair country, I was at least 30% in control of what I was doing. And then this bashful little barn owl unleashed a wonderful expression that made me question exactly why I was teaching her in the first place.

My little owl wondered aloud at the mental state of her teacher. She helpfully questioned if her teacher was one of the faithful departed. Or, was freezing, dark-hearted. Fleeing the garden? Let's just say it started with a f, had a middle "ing" and ended with a tarded.

As it stands, students are not supposed to question the mental capacity of their teacher in such a coarse manner. I'm going to say that approximately 100% of teachers do not have a developmental disability that results in lowered brain function. That's just not good policy.

My bashful little barn owl's claim about my mental fitness for educatifying was a real weight on my mind. I mean, if a girl who's so smart--I mean, she did use a swear word in a class in a school that frowns upon such things--calls me something -arded, I am going to worry. She's, what, 17 years old...she must know everything, as all teenagers do. Yes, her calling me such words was devastating to my ego. I had to slink around the classroom for the rest of the day (sans my little owl, of course, since she was definitely on her way to ISS). I was forced to contemplate my own intelligence, as any student who is smart enough to mouth off is obviously a good judge of character. In the end, I went home and ate gallons of ice cream to soothe the pain. Sadly sadly sadly.

Oddly enough, my bashful little barn owl has been wonderfully sweet and jovial the last few days.