Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tales of the Copy Machine

So the copier over at the Morton School has been having some..."issues." Some of these issues are fictional while others are true. Teachers have been getting copies made any way they can, and, when that's not possible, kids are doing an awful lot of copying. One teacher I'll call Mr. Mel has gone so far as to tell the kids that he won't give them a test until the copier is fixed. I'm not sure what Mr. Mel is trying to accomplish by sending that message, but it certainly has had the effect of making all the students intrigued about the photocopying process. They like that it seems like a deep, dark secret.

Today I employed some slightly nefarious means to photocopy some homework questions for my students. As I concluded the lesson near the end of the period and prepared to distribute the homework, Drew exclaimed, "All right! A worksheet!"

"Never in all my career," I responded dryly, "have I ever heard a student so excited about a worksheet."

"Yeah," Drew said, "but this means we don't have to copy a million questions off the board."

I conceded that point and continued to distribute the worksheets.

"So is the copy machine working now?" another student asked.

"Well, um," I said, honestly not sure what the true or the right thing to tell them was, "I'm not sure if it's working right now. Like, right this minute."

"I hope not," said another student. "That means Mr. Mel is finally going to give us that test."

"Well," I said, "it...could happen."

I could end this little story with a rant about how someone working for, oh, I don't know, City Hall or Bloomberg Media would never find themselves in such a situation in which the basic tools of their job were removed for weeks at a time with no guess on when they might be replaced. But I prefer to focus on the funny part, which is that my kids were THRILLED TO DEATH by a worksheet.

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