actually, i’d have to go with the seal.

Mrs. A {das me}: What kind of animal is the safest when it is sleeping at night?
Student 1: The bat because it sleeps during the day while every other animal is awake.
Mrs. A: Uhh, I don’t think they makes it safe.
Student 2: The giraffe. It has long legs.
Mrs. A: Ok…
Student 3 {with wide eyes, certainty…and a lisp}: Actually, I’d have to go with the seal. It can shoot through the water like a torpedo and has slick skin to get away from predators.

Yes, a seal. As in “ar-ar”. As in “I live in the arctic but don’t know what my purpose is other than having adorable big puppy eyes” seal. As in this kind of seal. He is fat. That is why he is cute. And he looks like Jabba the Hut.

{little known fact about Laura Armstrong: I am a Star Wars geek}.

Back to my point.

A few times of a week, I have the joy of substitute teaching at the local schools. These times have  been very…educational. More for me, less for the students. The middle school being the most enlightening experience. Let’s flashback: I have not worked with junior high kids since camp, mmk? And for whatever reason, state law isn’t too fond of singing “King Jesus is All” in the classroom. So how on earth am I supposed to relate to these kids when I can’t be Cool Camp Counselor Laura who let’s them do crazy things like where socks on their hands, stand on chairs while they eat, and run around like banshees screaming “Cannoneers! Boom Boom Argh!” at the top of their lungs to win the spirit flag??!!

Well thank you, substituting, for revealing facts and quirks about middle school children that will help me better relate to this painfully awkward age group in an educational setting:

  1. Texting in class is to 2011 as passing notes in class is to 1999.
  2. Justin Bieber hair automatically makes you a chick-magnet. And the target of ridicule for other males.
  3. The few who have discovered deodorant have more friends.
  4. Never start a sentence with, “When I was in middle school…”. You are immediately out of touch.
  5. Children with lisps are adorable. Like Student 3 who said the quote in the title of this blog.

Student 3, Jack, is potentially my new favorite student at this middle school {names have been protected for privacy…and because I can’t remember his real name}. Not only is Jack easily 3 inches taller than me, he also has a a large overbite and lisp comparable to “The Spleen” on Mystery Men or Thomas on The Ringer {look them up on YouTube and you will see my point}. It’s the kind that starts in the back of your throat…and makes every word he utters about 10x more difficult to understand. But he doesn’t let that get him down and he isn’t the slightest bit embarrassed about it. He is precious, kind, intelligent, and actually wants to learn–one of a kind for a junior higher.

Even though the days of subbing have been filled with loud, obnoxious children who care more about sitting next to Beiber-wannabe in class than learning that reading really is a valuable subject, he brings me hope that middle school kids can be genuine, eager students in the classroom.

So yes, Jack, I’d have to go with the “kstheal” as well.


5 thoughts on “actually, i’d have to go with the seal.

  1. Reason #3467 We Are Samesies: We both write the way we talk. I can literally hear your voice in my head as I read your blog. Personalized narration. Boom.

  2. Lol. You referenced The Spleen in your post. I like it. You should make it your life goal to convince all middle schoolers everywhere that you were indeed awesome when you were their age.

  3. Of course this is my favorite blog because it references my favorite people in the world. Do me a favor and go to You will NOT regret it after teaching middle schoolers. It’s a MS teacher who blogs about the funny things middle schoolers say in class. You’ll easily waste an hour reading it.

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