Day 31: Do as I say…

Portrait3Ah, the joys of teaching! I am a font of advice for students, particularly middle schoolers. About work and life and everything.

As I up my writing game from hobbyist to professional, I’m thinking I should “do as I say.” Because some of my advice isn’t half bad!

Former students will tell you that these are my most famous sayings. A little infamy works in my favor sometimes! This time I’m listening to myself…

“I hope you had a happy childhood…because it’s over.” A shocker, right?Translation: Quit pouting. Buck up and quit being a little kid about hard stuff.

“You are not ‘special’ in here.”
Translation: No special privileges for you–or for anyone! There’s no shortcut around hard work…and deadlines.

“Should you have said that thought aloud? To me?”
Translation: Blabbing everything you think brings trouble. Grow a filter.

“Don’t wake up the sleeping dog.”
Translation: When purposely provoked, peaceful dogs can bite. Don’t stir up drama without a very good reason. Because there will be a reaction, and it might not be one you expect or like.

“Stupid is a choice.”
Translation: Stupid comes from “stupor,” as in “Doh, I dunno.” So pay attention. Listen. Smarten up. You’re too old to play dumb anymore.

“This class is easy until it isn’t.” (This is for my high school fiction students.)
Translation: Sure, we analyze movies and watch interviews and fun stuff. But when it’s time to get down to the business of writing, lean into the pain and produce.

There you have it. Sage advice for more than just students. Particularly the “no pouting” part.

8 thoughts on “Day 31: Do as I say…

    1. That one didn’t make the cut–because you have to see the twinkle in my eye.

      Then again, I kind of did almost die. Right near the end of the “life is hard” school year, ha!

      And then there’s with the Russian birthday song. I sing it once as a demo, and then the 7th graders want to hear it all the time. Nope!
      “Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday. Pain and sorrow fill the air, people dying everywhere…”


      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love all your “sayings,” but I would never get away with, “You aren’t special in here,” where I work. I would quickly find out that they are all SPECIAL. That sort of takes away the specialness of being special doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can’t see the air quotes I use when I say this. Special means special privilege. As in, “Can I (only) escape the consequences this time?” Or, “But I’m so cute! I’m a sad little puppy, wah!”

      Years ago a high school student came to me wanting an extra credit assignment, because he had missed a deadline by a lot. (My fine is a hefty 5 points per calendar day–not per class day–because a student is gaining extra time over his classmates by waiting.) I just looked at him.

      “If I offer extra credit to you, then I have to offer it to everyone–that’s being impartial. There are 22 students. What if every one of them turns in an extra credit story? You are asking me to read 22 five-page stories–just because you couldn’t get yours in by the deadline? Do better next time.”

      That’s what I mean by not special. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never let students have an extra credit assignment that everyone else didn’t get either. Therefore, I gave very few extra credit assignments. Generally, the best students did them – not the ones who really needed the credit. Then, those really good students ended up with 100 averages. That’s not realistic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I need to print these out. You’d think that by reaching 60, I’d know these by now. Thanks, Laura. Go, Laura, go. and Go, Vivian, Go and Do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve said the same thing myself many times, Vivian. The want-to comes first, and then the scary do. You’ve been rather occupied at home during the last several years. A full house can sidetrack everything!


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