Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Foul-Mouthed Trollop

So, this is the week of school when I look at the children and say, "Hey, that whole summer reading thing was not a suggestion, so how about you actually go buy the book at least." Luckily, this very timely news article made a showing in my Facebook feed before we had that nasty little conversation. 

Long story, short - 

A student logged into Yahoo Answers, where dumb questions go to fester and die, and asked the internet to do his summer reading for him:

Note that sahweet username, by the way.

Unfortunately for said student, the author, D.C. Pierson, is one of the few Americans who has access to wifi. And, basically, Pierson took this kid to the mattresses:

I saw this story as a golden, learning opportunity for my little angels, and promptly ran off a class set of the article. After I gave them time to read it, I assigned the following Quick Write - 

"Fast forward to when you're a published author. You're trolling the internet one day like D.C. Pierson and see a similar post where a student is trying to avoid reading your masterpiece. Do you confront him? If not, why not? If so, write your response."

Curious, I peered over their shoulders as they worked. One student raised her hand, "Ms. P, can we use the word 'trollop' in this class? Is that appropriate?" 

If I played soccer and my classroom was the Olympics and word choice was like a goal (follow that metaphor, and you deserve an A), this is what I would have done right then...

But, alas, I maintained professionalism AND dress code and just said, "Um, sure?"

Interest piqued, I traveled to her desk to skim what she had so far. And promptly had to apologize to the student across to her when I almost spit my Diet Coke in his face in violent laughter.

This is the stuff sarcastic, English teachers' dreams are made of. I'll be reading her piece to students until I retire.

Her Quick Write - 

        Well this is awkward. Hi, Dorothy Parker* here. That’s right. The author of the “but it’s so long, how can I finish this in 2 months with my ‘social life’ going on” book. Well, first of all, whatever social life you have won’t crumble and collapse at the astounding miracle that you read a book. It might, just might, better your social skills by providing you with the pride that you are the sixty-six percent that actually read and gain knowledge from reading. Heck, reading actual books might just teach you words other than ‘swag’, ‘YOLO’, and worst of all, ‘cool.’ 

       And with those new big-kid words you just might get a real job with better pay and better people. And, who knows? Your new job probably won’t require a hair-net. We want to keep those luscious locks free and flowing in the breeze, right? 

"Reading equals Freedooooomm."

     And if some dope walks into your new office saying, “My swag is enough to land me this job, brah,” you can just calmly say, “You foul-mouthed trollop, go read some real literature.” So all I’m typing is, if you read, you might just learn something.

At this point, remembering I taught her last year, I promptly pulled a Tina Fey. And high-fived myself.

*Name changed to protect the brilliant.

7 bonus points:

Anonymous said...

I am going to say "you foul mouthed trollop" to someone before the week is over!

MSU ISI Summer Institute said...

Why didn't I think of that....kudos to that unnamed author.

Beth said...


Beth said...


Anonymous said...

great read; would like to hear more from this kid-----uriah

Sarah Lee said...

How I love your blog, and your amazing students.

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