For realsies

Lethargy Competition: Photo Finish November 27, 2012

I have a couple of students who impersonate this young man on a regular basis.  Although they are not biological siblings, I like to think of them as Augustus and Julius.  They bear no resemblance to these historical figures, but it confuses them when I call them by their Peachy-assigned aliases.

They share a philosophy which has been honed and perfected over several years of schooling.  The LETHARGY FOREVER school of thought centers around the ever-present conflict between exerting a milli-iota of effort vs. screw-it-and-go comatose-until-the-current-task-is-done-and-I-will-now-never-understand-it-so-again-screw-it-and-go-comatose.  

Beautifully circular. The slightly more awake version involves waiting until the teacher goes over the answer with the whole class, at which point they copy it.  But that is usually a little bit too taxing for the Caesar boys.

LETHARGY FOREVER is resistant to the most engaging dog and pony show that I may devise.  I have determined that this is because I will never shoot a spitball or an eraser at them. I do not crawl on the floor,  putting  small items into my hoodie pocket, then transform into a human question mark when called out on this slightly suspicious behavior.  Oh, the shining halos I can summon above Julius and Augustus’ guilty little heads, just by telling them to knock it off.  This is not to say that the thought of lofting a pen across the classroom (as an engagement strategy) has not crossed my mind from time to time.  I do not exaggerate when I tell you that I have broken into the Hallelujah Chorus on occasion when a LETHARGY FOREVER devotee volunteers an intelligent response in a discussion, not because I feel they are incapable, but because they are usually so dedicated to being incapable.

Today I insisted that these two captains of industry continue to work on the assignment, of which they had so artfully completed exactly .5%.  This statistic means that they had successfully written their names, and, in one case, transformed the bullets on the page into actual physical holes by which to guide  their intellectual journey through the darkness.  The other students in class were working on posters.

I was working with a small group of non-English speakers, attempting to get them to say and write the word “tree.”

The Caesars were pissed.  I helped each of them, periodically returning to each to find that they had added nothing since my previous help session.  In the end, they were both directed to complete it as homework, in addition to the other homework that they will not do tonight.  If one of them actually returns the thing, I may draw a star on his hand.  To freak them out more than anything.

It’s the simple things.


8 Responses to “Lethargy Competition: Photo Finish”

  1. UndercoverL Says:

    Oh, Peachy, I must lay the blame at the feet of parents. Remember six months ago when I was constantly complaining about my foster son? All it took to screw his head on was to have a figure at home who was dedicated to him dedicating himself. That is not party of your job description. I am sure you don’t get paid enough for what you do, as it is.

  2. WSW Says:

    Brando said it best, “The horror…the horror.”

  3. javaj240 Says:

    I work with some folks who may be involved in the LETHARGY FOREVER movement. It may be sweeping the country!

    • peachyteachy Says:

      It’s 5:30 a.m. and I am ready to sign up myself. But I decided that one anti-LETHARGY FOREVER tactic could be the dropping of Pop Rocks crystals onto students’ tongues when they start to glaze over. Man, that sounds so trippy druggy.

  4. why am I here in a handbasket? Says:

    how do you do this day after day?

    • peachyteachy Says:

      I have no f—ing idea. Except that I love my coworkers. I am not sure how long it can hold, though.

      • I have that same question. How do you keep doing this? I know I never freakin’ could. And I laugh, because my oldest son always falls asleep in class. I think he has a slight sleep disorder like his dad – like he falls asleep faster than most. And yes, that’s actually a disorder LOL. Anyway, he didn’t do it much in high school, but now, in university, with football and staying up late, he is out like a light almost every lecture. He sits in the front too. I ask him why he even bothers to go because he is probably frustrating the teacher more than anything. He says he doesn’t want to miss out. He is a good student otherwise. [shaking my head]

      • peachyteachy Says:

        And this is elementary school. Last year I had a kid who would fall asleep and snore almost every day. He spoke of staying up til one a.m., watching movies and playing video games. Was also hanging with drinking and drugging uncles on the weekend. The needs of these kids go so far beyond increasing the “rigor” of the instruction. If I didn’t laugh, I would cry. And still do, some days.

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