Case in point . . . Last summer, I went walking with one of my students that I highly respect. We talked about boyfirends and nicknames. I made the "mistake" of telling her about my dreaded nickname - "Legs"
For those of you that don't know, once, when I was very small and immature, my cousin and I were having a discussion very late at night. Unbeknownst to us, our nosy older cousin was eavesdropping (yes this is a revised and very slanted history of the event). This was the course of the conversation.
S- What is one body part that you would like to change?
Me - I would change my legs. I want such long and shapely legs that everyone
would call me Legs.
The next morning, everyone in my immediate and extended family knew of our conversation and started calling me Legs. My older and nosy cousin introduced me to all of her older friends as her cousin Legs. This is very mortifying to a preteen girl especially when it is an teen male that is hearing the introduction. I think I lived about the next five years with a perma blush on my skin as members of my family would pull out the nickname at the most inoportune times.
Anyways, I told this story to my student on our walk. The next day, in class, one of my other students started mumbling indirect information about legs such as, " I need to go stretch my LEGS!!" and "Miss Legs" and "Are your LEGS sore?" The student I told leaned over and said, "I told G and C." I feigned anger and then pretended that I had no idea what was going on. "Miss Legge. I am not Miss Legge. I am Miss Light. Miss Legge teaches Grade 1. Don't you know that?"
This was last year. The joke has continued this year. More students have found out about the joke, including one of my very troubled boys from last year who we almost had to kick out of school. Now he could have twisted the joke and made it really mean and cruel but no he just sits there and laughs silently. And I laugh with them. It is fun to be able to laugh with them.
However, there is one disconcerting piece of information in this story. Why can my students remember some random story about me - this isn't the only instance. They remember the name of the guy whose lap I fell into during White water rafting, the names of my nieces and nephews etc. However, they can not remember the formula for the Circumference of a circle or area of a circle or . . . and I have tried to drill this into their heads (with a circular base nontheless - what is more applicable than finding the area of the hole inour head (just jokes)) Maybe if I told them that my boyfriend was "area equals base times height divided by two", they would remember how to find the area of a triangle. Ahh well, at least I am teaching them that I too am human.