Smells Like Teen Spirit in Djibouti

Since I’m taking my uncle to the guynecologist tomorrow, I won’t be going to work. But I do like work. I reflected on that this afternoon while staring at desks made studentless by the celebration of Senior Ditch Day. Takis are this holiday’s official snack, marijuana is its official herb, and I missed the weirdoes that typically warm my classroom’s chairs, the half-baked cholos, the punk rock chuntis, the girls who have run out of room for facial piercings, the shaggy-haired boy who can’t stop chirping like a cricket. With nostalgia for this wayward brood, which I’ll hopefully be reunited with on Friday, I share the top five most enjoyable classroom moments I had this week.

#5.  A student emailed me a homework assignment, a PowerPoint presentation titled “Bruce Vilanch.”

Ceasars Palace

Would you like to scan Bruce Vilanch for viruses before opening?

#4. A student asked me what I was. I answered, “Mexican and Polish.” He whispered, “You look low-key Asian.”


She’s telling him, “Lower…”

#3. A student told me that once, when he went trick-or-treating, an old woman deigned to give him raisins. While dropping them into his pillowcase, she explained, “They’re nature’s candy.” He explained to me that he pelted her house with eggs, nature’s grenades.


Look cabrona, you’ve been warned.

#2. A student asked me not to call him by the name that he goes by according to my roll sheet. I asked, “What do you want me to call you then?” He seethed, “Charlie.” I stared at him for a while because there was no logical way to get Charlie out of his name, and then, I gasped, “Oh my god!” getting it. “You want me to call you Charlie because you’re Asian!”

Charlie low-key nodded.


Was Jane Fonda in this?

#1. I blurted, “I really want to go the University of Djiboutou.” A student yelled, “WHY? SO YOU CAN BECOME A SMART ASS?”



One comment

  1. Before i even finish reading this, I have to tell you that a Bruce Vilanch lookalike driving a jeep cherokee in Pasadena shouted out his window to me “Sergio!” and then “You’re not Sergio!” as Cristina, me, and some friends walked a friend to her car at 2:00 a.m.-ish. Indeed, I am not Sergio.

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