Anxiety, Humor

Stuff Students Say

Beware the gab.

I have taught English and literature classes for twenty years. Private and public schools, grades 6 through 12. It’s a demanding job, most of the time more demanding that this anxiety-ridden teacher can handle. Usually, I can contain it during a workday. Every now and then, though, it takes hold and all I can do is to speak as little as possible and focus on breathing in order to not snap.

This week, I had an afternoon where my anxiety became debilitating. So, after providing assignments to my 14-year-old scholars, I sat, attempted to control my breathing, and attempted to hold onto my sanity.

After listening to my students during these moments of controlled breathing, I decided to type some of the phrases and conversations I was hearing around my classroom. I set my focus on the breathing and typing.

So, for your amusement, here is a list of mutterings…

“I’m not late to class,” as he strolls in late.


“Mrs. Rust, the answer isn’t one of the choices!” May need to rethink the question.

“The correct answer’s not there!” ~sigh~

“Oh, never mind. I get it!”


“I found a math problem in this.” Yes, a cross-curricular question.


anxiety skull


“Tyrone’s staring at me.” They had named the plastic skull on my bookshelf.

“How do I draw a skull?” You don’t. Get back to work.




“You know what’s weird…?” There is always concern as to what may follow that phrase with 14-year-olds.


As I give them a copy of the ghostly folklore Bloody Mary to read…

Bloody Mary! Isn’t that a wine?”

“No, I think it’s tomato juice poured on top of the wine.”

“When I was young, I spun around three times and nothing happened. I was proving to a friend that Bloody Mary wasn’t real.”

Bloody Mary for Anxiety“Bloody Mary is a witch.”

“Your mom is a witch.”

Can I have a Bloody Mary now?   



“Seldon says Bazinga.”
Sheldon says Bazinga
Ok, that was out of the blue. However, this was quite clever. Seldon is a minor character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Hound of the Baskervilles which we currently finished reading. Sheldon is a beloved character on my favorite show Big Bang Theory; he often declares “Bazinga” when pulling a joke on one of the gang.




“My friend’s name is Brandon. He stole Legos from me a long time ago.” Is this a suppressed memory resurfacing now?


“In Alan’s dream last night…” Hmmm…why are you sharing someone else’s dream? And, why aren’t you working?


“I hate it when I drop my pencil.” I believe there are bigger worries to have.


“Why are we doing math?” Again, cross-curricular questions.


“How am I supposed to understand this? Can I use a resource?” He proceeds to ask Siri.
hey siri

“Do we have to read this story that you gave us?” Yes, please.


“Some things don’t sound right when you say them out loud ‘angry’, annggreeee, anGRY.” ~sigh~


“I already have enough excruciating homework.” Me too. A teacher’s job is never done.


“I just realized something, I don’t need a book for speech class.” Good to know. This is English class. We read every day.


“There’s a dog. Why is there a dog?” The student sees an officer and a detection dog pass by the classroom.

“What happens if the drug dog catches someone? Expulsion? Explosion?” Yes, if caught, you shall explode.

“Oh, crap. Trick shot.” What?


“Risk it for that biscuit! That’s how life works. You fail so other people can win.” Okay…where did this come from? I like the phrase, though.


“I’m gonna practice for Halloween by hiding in our bushes to scare little kids.” Ok, back to work now…



“Can I sit in a corner and work?”

After moving to the corner, I hear, “I was here first.”

“Not physically.”

“What’s the opposite of a corner? A norner?”
Why. Just why.



“Did you just crab walk?” Yes, he did. Across the room.


“Will you let me know if a knee brace pops up in your class one of these days?” She lost it again. I think the only way a knee brace works is if you keep in on your knee.


“Nice pencil sharpener. Where’d you get it?” knowing I had taken it from the teacher next door.


“I’m showing him my new dance move. It’s called the Harlem Shank.” Uh, let’s keep that as “shake”.


“My favorite color is reddish-red.” Good to know.


“There are only two communist countries.” No, there are many more.

“Did you know that Che Guevara was also a writer? Wrote a book called Guerrilla Warfare.”

“As in Harambe the gorilla?”

Really? And, why are you researching this now?


Student: Do I need to turn this project in?

Me: Yes, cut the pieces out and staple them together.

Student: I cut them out?

Me: Yes.

Student: I cut them out and staple them?

Me: Yes, and turn them in.

Student: It’s due today, right?

Me: Yes.


“I’m huddling in a ball and reading at the same time because I’m cold. I’m so cold.”


Student: We have a test tomorrow?

Me: Yes.

Student: We study our reviews for that?

Me: Uh, yes.


i love chocolateStudent: Do you want some dark chocolate?

Me: That’s a stupid question. (They know I LOVE dark chocolate.)

Student: I’ll take that as a yes.  Here.  I got it from Maya.  She’s my dealer.


Dismissal bell, please, ring.

What have you heard your students or kids say? Share them so we may share a laugh…because life is so daily and laughter will help us deal with it!

Copyright © 2017 Alicia T-Rust. All rights reserved.

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