The Teachers’ Lounge – Third quarter memorable moments

Ned Bitters

Another ten-day spring break has come to an end, meaning it’s time to head into the home stretch of another school year. If my having ten days off in for no good goddamn reason isn’t enough to earn your undying hatred, let me share with you the fact that I have already bitched about not having another day off until Memorial Day and have vowed to use my last remaining personal day some warm, May Friday. If that’s not enough, I am appalled at how early we have to start the next school year.

And if that’s still not enough to make you want to go all Chris Brown on my ass, let me share with you the latest update on all the fun I am able to have on those rare days when I do have to show up at school and actually earn the check they just keep issuing to me.

And I assure you he was answering with complete honesty

Every senior in our county has to sit through a formal interview with a professional adult from outside of the school system. It’s a good first experience for many of the kids at selling themselves in a sort of quasi-job interview. Unfortunately, some of them haven’t done a damn thing worth bragging about in their four years at our school.

One of my seniors, a bright but incurably apathetic and lethargic type who embodies the word “malaise” more than any kid I know, came to my room for the last period of the day looking even more sadsack than normal. I saw he was dressed up, which means he had sat through his interview earlier in the day. I asked him how it went, and he said with the cumulative sadness of a West Virginia trailer park, “Man, Bitt … I never said ‘I don’t know’ so many times in my life. That woman just kept asking questions and all I could say to half of them were ‘I don’t know.'”

I’m pretty sure his cousin is not the district attorney

As I prepped the kids for the do’s and don’ts of how to dress for this interview, one kid swore to me that he had no nice clothes and should therefore be excused. I told him that he was wearing $140 tennis shoes, so I know his family had the money to hit Walmart or the Salvation Army for some inexpensive, serviceable dress clothes. He considered this for about 1.3 seconds, summarily dismissed the shame of Walmart clothing, then burst out excitedly with, “Oh wait! I know! I can borrow my cousin’s court clothes!”

With this girl, believe me, you don’t even want to see the leopard

A rather large girl came to my fourth period and started showing off the new tattoo she had gotten on the very top of her ample left breast. Exposing the top of a taut tit to anyone with working vision, she beamed, “Check it out, it’s a leopard!” One unimpressed young man just shook his head and said, “Yeah, it’s a leopard now, but when you old and sagging that thing’s gonna look like a giraffe.”

I believe he compromised by showing a movie and waiting for happy hour

Got an email from a similarly minded (meaning unabashed slacker) colleague at another high school. He told me it was their senior skip day and that he had only three students in his first period. He wrote, “I’m not sure who to give the extra credit to, the three kids who decided to show up, or the 26 who made my day so easy by cutting school for the day.”

In the copier room I heard a morose young teacher bitching about the job, ending his rant with, “I swear to christ, I’d like my job better if I were a fucking garbage man.”

A commiserating older female teacher responded with Saharan dryness, “Yeah, I hear ya, and the trash you work with there wouldn’t even talk back.”

Um … er, i mean im … I mean I,m so glad i was able to help her

An senior (a senior!) in an honors (honors!) English class asked me in complete seriousness, “Mr. Bitters, you know the word ‘I’m’? How you spell that? Is the ‘I’ capitalized? And is there one of them comma things in it or is it just ‘i-m’? Really? I thought just the word ‘I’ by itself got capitalized.” Good thing we just had this ten-day spring break to recover from all the learning that has obviously gone on to this point.

Um gonna fuyna knife and slit my wristesez

In the same class, another girl who is much smarter than the “I’m” girl asked me, “Mr. Bitters, how do you spell ‘Truyna’?”

I said, “Is that a name? You mean ‘Trina’? Or did you say ‘china?'”

She clarified for what she must have considered her frighteningly obtuse teacher, “No, ‘Truyna.’ Like, ‘I’m truyna get accepted to college before April first.'” Yep, she meant ‘trying to.’

With friends like that, who needs Entenmann’s

A group of kids were standing over the shoulder of the yearbook editor as he did some yearbook work in the career center. One of the kids saw his yearbook picture and screamed, “Holy shit! Look at me? I look like shit. Can you Photoshop that to make look better?”

Before the editor had a chance to answer diplomatically, the kid’s friend said, “You can’t photoshop fat, lardo.”

And finally …

As always, here is a random selection of lines I overheard in my classroom or in the halls.

“My family is really good at breaking things with their heads.” I had his parents in class years ago. I have no doubt the family does, indeed, break things with their heads.

“My grandfather’s entire funeral was ruined because his wife is such a cunt!” Cunty widows will do that, I guess.

“I wanna work at an old folks home so they can teach me how to play pool.” Yes, because nothing says acute manual dexterity and unmatched hand-eye coordination like infirmed geriatrics.

“He’d be really good looking if it weren’t for his face and hair. Oh, and those eyes.” And we weren’t even watching the Rocky Dennis movie when she said this.

“Yo dick stink AND yo pussy stink!” Yelled right before a fight between two girls in D-hallway. Ironically, that’s where the biology classes are located. Guess they’d already covered the Hermaphrodite Unit.

Ned Bitters teaches high school and dreams of one day seeing one of his former students on stage at a strip club. You can contact him at

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