Forehead Floss

Today began with a nightmare in which I noticed a 16 foot strand of tooth floss shooting out of my forehead. When I opened my mouth to tell my daughter about it, a sudden gust of wind blew it into my mouth, where it clung tenaciously onto every surface and prevented me from speaking.

Interpret that.

What happened the rest of the day was actually kind of the opposite. We were wrapping up our study of American Lit with a final story by Zora Neale Hurston, and as we were reading, I asked the students what they thought Hurston meant when she said that Delia crawled on her knees through Gethsemane and up over the rocks of Calvary many times that month.

They didn’t have a clue. None of them had ever heard of either place.

In fact the closest guess they volunteered was that Calvary was some kind of Roman coliseum. (If you want to call that close.)

So then I had to tell them that story, and they were riveted. I mean-that’s a great  story, isn’t it? And then later on, Delia is singing about crossing over Jordan and they don’t know what that’s all about. Who are the Israelites? Where were they coming from? Why didn’t they just stay in Egypt? Why did Pharaoh let them go, if they were his slaves? Well, what was on the other side of Jordan? How big were the walls, and what were they singing?

I’ve never seen them so engaged.

Does nobody tell Bible stories anymore? Ever?

I know, I know. We can’t teach religion in school, but how are they supposed to appreciate allusions to the Passover, or the battle of Jericho if they have never heard of Moses?

Kids–apparently even 17 and 18 year old kidslove Bible stories. How can you not? Even if you think that’s all they are–they are great stories, and they are foundational for understanding American literature. It was like the opposite of having our mouths glued shut with inexplicably sticky forehead floss–we were having real conversations and they were making connections between stories that they couldn’t possibly have made before. Two days of the semester left, and I am just now beginning to understand what makes these people tick.

Also two days left of the semester–with all the grade entering, etc, that entails–and my son spilled Gatorade in my laptop. It was kind of my own fault because as I walked away I thought, “I should move that; he could totally spill, all over my keyboard,” but I didn’t, because I was focused on finding just the right hamburger bun recipe.

Sure enough, not 30 seconds later: BAM.

So now my cursor is possessed. I’m hoping it will miraculously heal itself overnight. Meanwhile, the hamburger buns didn’t rock. They’re okay. But I was so distracted by consciously choosing not to freak out about the electrolyte-infused electronics, I think, that I’m not really sure I followed the recipe.  So I won’t pass it on. But these, you don’t need a recipe for, right?

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2 responses to “Forehead Floss

  • Jane Payne

    You hit the nail on the head with this one (ha. didn’t even realize I was quoting a Bible story until I’d finished the sentence – Jael with the nail during the time of the judges). The Bible stories are the best to teach because they’re not only rich in literature but in today’s society they’re also very fresh and unknown. That is one of the reasons I think I’ve got such a grand job.

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