‘Dinging on my thingy’: Things I overheard this week

Rockford College University, 2 May 2015

Rockford College University, 2 May 2015

“I found it on the floor,” said student as she returned from a trip to the bathroom with a cupcake in hand. As others teased her, she said, “it was a chocolate frickin’ cupcake,” to which classmate added, “of sh*t!”

“Nice job last night,” said an old man I didn’t know as he was walking behind me at Wal-Mart on Tuesday April 28th. Then he said, “You didn’t hear me, did you?” and again he said, “Nice job last night.” I said I was at home last night, washing dishes. He apologized, as he’d confused me for someone else. I said, “I don’t mind being complimented on my dishes.”

One sophomore boy to another, after the latter had said “chupacabra” in some comment to the class: “Yay — chupacabra!” and fist-bumped the latter student. I said I needed to write that down on my pocket-page where I collected quotes. A girl said, “it becomes funnier when you say you have to write it down.”

That same girl later said to her friend and classmate, who was confused about an assignment, “See, I told you you were stupid.”

Ant hills

Ant hills

“THAT’S why you don’t ride horses bareback when they’re in heat,” said student, explaining why she had scrapes and bruises on her face and arms.

“Are you on some good pain meds?” I asked a student who had just come back to school after having open-knee surgery. She laughed and said, “Heheehee, yeah.”

Outside Colman Library, Rockford College University, 3 May 2015

Outside Colman Library, Rockford College University, 3 May 2015

“How long does it take a person to see there’s nothing!?!” I heard myself say of a driver who was durably stopped at a four-way stop sign. I was just complaining about a fellow human’s judgment, but then I realized that line could also be a philosophically significant point about ideas being nothing at all.

“Would that be grammarly correct?” a student asked of a particular phrase on April 29. He did later correct himself with “grammatically.”

“If anyone cares, my heels are bleeding,” announced student to me and her 10th hour classmates.

That same girl, the next day, said about using public toilets: “You gotta hover! You gotta hover!”

“They spelled all of my names wrong,” said a girl with three names of a local-newspaper article in which she was wrongly named.

At Kishwaukee College, 28 March 2015

At Kishwaukee College, 28 March 2015

“I don’t care; it’s mine,” said a senior boy after his friend pointed out flaws in the model airplane the boy had just purchased for two dollars from a teacher who’s leaving at the end of the semester.

“One day it’s like, ‘huh-huh, huh-huh’; the other, it’s ‘heh-heh, heh-heh,” said a senior girl describing another girl’s changing laugh.

“But he’s still alive, you know,” said the woman teaching the graduate-level education class I took last weekend, of her husband buying heart medicine in Mexico over her objections.

Rock River beach at Byron, IL, 25 March 2015

Rock River beach at Byron, IL, 25 March 2015

Junior student said if she would start to plan a murder, she’d “just give up because it’s too much work. I’m serious, honestly,” she said.

Student said of her classmate, “She’s like a teddy bear.” “I am,” said second student. “No, you’re not — you’re a bitch,” said first student.

“A word is a thing on the move, a word is a process,” said linguist John McWhorter on NPR’s All Things Considered.

At high school baseball games on April 30th, one woman yelled at a boy who was pitching: “C’mon, Taylor, put it in there,” and after he threw a called strike, she said something like “Right there” or maybe “There it is.” A different woman at a nearby game said of the team she supported, “We’re getting ’em out there; we’re just leavin’ ’em out there.”

Sine function models, sort of.

The sine function incarnate, sort of.

“You live to serve,” a young-ish man at the seminar said to his 50-something female colleague, as he asked her to get him something. “Why can’t YOU live to serve?” she replied. “I’m only 37,” he said.

Later on, that same woman said of cultural sensitivity, that teachers are not supposed to ignore cultural differences but celebrate them. “You’re supposed to go with a guy and do hookah,” she gave as an example. I wrote this down and read it back to her and she at first denied that she had said it, but then, “No, I DID say that, didn’t I?” she admitted.

“I can’t afford an Ess-You-Vee, but THEY’VE got ’em,” said a middle-aged female teacher, comparing her material wealth to those who claim to be poor.

“That was you dinging on my thingy just now,” said a teacher colleague of mine after I had sent her an email that caused an audible alert on her computer.

Ice, Ogle County, 5 March 2015

Ice, Ogle County, 5 March 2015

“Don’t f__king look at my veins,” said a student who told us she was denied the ability to donate blood because her veins were too small, or something.

“Um-um-um-um-um, can I teach?” asked a student in my 10th hour class, a question she’s asked on about 20 prior days. I’ve said “no” every time before saying “yes” today, and she did a decent job leading our class through reading part of Book 13 of The Odyssey and then supervising essay-writing time.

“Too bad you’re gonna go back to her, just like you always do,” said one senior boy to another in the parking lot after school on 4 May.

I was getting slap-happy tired when I took this picture, but something about there being anything "upcoming" about classics struck me as funny.

I was getting slap-happy tired when I took this picture, but something about there being anything “upcoming” about classics struck me as funny.

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