In 1991, one of my English 9 students asked to borrow a copy of Madame Ovary, and the list began. In 2013, another English 9 student asked if we were going to read Tequila Mockingbird, and I closed the list. In all that time, I’ve never gathered the hundreds of sticky notes I had in my unit binders, sorted, edited, and chosen which ones would make THE LIST. Here it is: the best one-liners my students said and wrote during my 21 years in the classroom. I’ve even thrown in a few conversations. Some need context, but some are so much better without it.
- Polynesia is a place? I thought it was just a sauce at Chik-fil-A!
- For some people, diet and exercise were not enough to avoid cardiovascular disease. They caught a case of heredity.
- Dude, you need to put that sentence on Weight Watchers and trim the fat.
- That red blood cell looks constipated.
- She looked as scared as a raccoon that was almost hit by a minivan.
- (After a student speech against animal testing) Why rats need erectile dysfunction medication, I’ll never know.
- Flight 93 landed in Transylvania.
- 9/11 was the day the Japanese attacked America.
- The emergency number 911 was named after 9/11.
- You can’t use that sentence. It’s grattamarically wrong.
- What do you mean you didn’t have bottled water when you were a kid? What did you drink water out of?
- I was nervous about getting my lip pierced until I went with my mom when she had hers done.
- The animal cell does not have a cell wall because we don’t need one to keep us straight.
- Brenda went home early. She has a migration.
- Mrs. Kratzer, Carla just called me a prostitute. That’s a male dog, right, like a bitch is a female dog?
- I love to accessorize, especially during a crime. Get it, Mrs. Kratzer? Get it? Accessory to a crime? Get it?
- We need to get one of those Joe Frazier Grills.
- My friends are irritated with me. When I text these days, I write whole paragraphs and complete words. I even proofread. It takes me forever to write a text! Thanks a lot, Mama K.
- I’m black, white, Hispanic, even got a bit o’ Native American in there. My heritage is just on shuffle.
- Ooh, ooh! I know the three persuasive appeals! Eggos, legos, and portals!
- Mrs. Kratzer, you have done something terrible to me. I LIKE reading.
- What?! Macbeth is a DUDE!?
- Me: That issue has another side.
Student: Yeah, it’s a double-edged sword.
Me: Is there any part of the argument that you can grab onto?
Student: How can you grab onto a double-edged sword?
- Mrs. Kratzer, what is the abbreviation for May?
- (During a lesson on The Civil Rights Movement) Selma–wasn’t that a movie where they drove off a cliff?
- Glitter is the herpes of art. Once you got it, you can’t get rid of it.
- I read it somewhere, I don’t know–maybe on that link to that online newspaper, the Huff and Puff.
- I am mug-shot serious.
- You’re about to open up Pandora’s box of worms.
- My student teacher asked my freshmen what the NAACP is, and NOT ONE of them knew. One guessed “The National African American something,” and another asked, “Didn’t some Max…Malcolm guy have something to do with that?”
- Mrs. Kratzer, if I yawned in front of a deaf man, would he think I was yelling? What do you think? Mrs. Kratzer? Why are you looking at me like that?
- Mrs. Kratzer, I felt really bad hearing that boy cuss you out. It was like somebody cussin’ out my mama.
- I love playing with your hair. It’s like running my fingers through curly fries.
- No, I’m not mixed. I’m a person, not a drink.
- I actually overhead this conversation in my Creative Writing class:
Male Student A: What are “the birds and the bees?”
Female Student B: You know, the sex talk.
Male Student A: My parents don’t talk about that stuff. Will you tell me?
Female Student B: Uh, no.
Male Student A: C’mon, I wanna hear the story.
Female Student B: Why birds and bees anyway? That can’t work out. Hey, baby, hold still (student is now thrusting her pelvis). Why birds and bees? They aren’t even the same size.
ME: (Because I had to jump in) It’s not birds with bees; it’s birds with birds and bees with bees.
Female Student A: So, why don’t they call it the “birds talk?”
Male Student B: Why do they use two animals anyway?
Female Student A: Well, they can’t use a human and an animal.
Male Student B: That won’t work anyway. Animals can’t have sex with humans.
Female Student A: Yes they can!
Male Student B: Oh, yeah. Beastiology.