Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sub Notes: Little Deers

On one classroom wall was a mounted deer head. I surmised by the tiny sticks just emerging from his head that he was young—a teenager deer. He was mounted in such a way that he appeared to be shrugging as if to say, “I’m about to be killed and stuffed, but what can ya do?” Even his eyes looked a little sad and red-rimmed. I named him Marty because he looked like such a martyr.

On the back white board, under Things to Think About for your Science Project, an eighth grade girl had written, “I think about giving head all the time.”

I vaguely wondered about her misplaced modifier. Did she think all the time about giving head, or did she think about this activity becoming her primary occupation?

What bothered me most was the self-esteem of a little girl who finds herself obsessing over how to please others because she thinks it makes her desirable. It made me sad.

I looked at Marty while I erased.

“What can ya do?” he asked.

“…on those occasions when speech was necessary he had a way of compressing large thoughts into small, cryptic packets of language. One evening, just at sunset, he pointed up at an owl circling over the violet-lighted forest to the west.
‘Hey O’Brien,’ he said. ‘There’s Jesus.’” ~Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried


  1. Yikes! I just have to worry about avoiding the word "balls" at all costs. At least avoiding the word "balls" with "beach" or "kick" or "cheese" in front of it.

  2. LOL...so true!! And "nuts" is off limits, too. I made the mistake of using a nutcracker to illustrate a kind of simple machine. Silly me. Never again.

  3. And why, oh why, do biology textbooks insist on using the beaver as an example of a keystone species?

  4. Sad commentary on the life and times of many teenaged girls. A deer head on the wall?

  5. How sad for the deer, but even more for the eighth-grade girl.
    One of the women in my bunco group is the secretary for a middle-school principal. She's shared some stories about what some of the students get sent to the principal for doing um under the stairwell.
    Times have changed. Back in the day . . . when I was in eighth grade, one afternoon it was raining, and our nun told us to make sure we all had our rubbers on before going outside. The boys were rolling in the aisles. I chuckled then pondered if I needed to go to Confession for laughing at a dirty joke.

  6. Rod coached a high school girls golf team for four years. He finally couldn't take it any more! All they ever talked about was sex, and they even texted each other while they were talking! He said he had had enough of teenage angst!!!

  7. Val, I laughed so hard! I can just imagine.

    Linda, I see deer heads all the time. Usually in science classes, but occasionally in a totally unrelated room like comm. arts. I suspect that little decorating idea comes from the spouses.

    Donna, I had to giggle about the rubbers! When I was a teenager, and I had a date and it rained, I lived in terror that my mother (who was older) would tell me in front of my date to wear my rubbers!

    Too funny, Judie!


Any return "messages" are appreciated!