Saturday, July 2, 2011

Empirical Formula Rockstar

Taught calculating empirical formulas from percent composition. The kids totally learned. It was awesome.

I find myself infinitely more sexy when I think of myself as a high school chemistry teacher.

I've been bragging on facebook for weeks now, because thanks to studying like some kind of type a, perfectionist, over-achiever every weekend, I have gained a few uber-sexy skills:

1. I know the difference between an ionic and covalent bond. Nonmetal-metal, nonmetal-nonmetal, bitches.

2. Valence electrons and what the fuck they do. Sharing and stealing, reacting and bonding, punkass.

3. Why all that shit on the periodic table in that order. Electronegativity, ionization energy, atomic radius. Left to right, top to bottom, motherfucker.

However, relaying this brilliance to my students has not always been super easy.

My first term of Chemistry brought in an unusually boisterous crowd.

When my teaching observer came in, three of my students, Bahir, Chris and Jacob thought that was the perfect time to erupt into complete chaos dragging the entire class down with them.

Thus, I've been sanctioned for sucking at controlling my Teens.

The next Monday, Bahir asked, "Miss Fantubulis! Deed you pass your test?"

"No." I said, slightly annoyed at him for his role in the debacle (sure the PowerPoint brought Carbon and Oxygen together, valence electrons dangling, but when they entered their covalent 'relationship', electrons entering each other's clouds, did he really have to yell, "Loook! They make lover!"

I don't think so.)

"Why you did not?" He asked.

"Oh . . . there were a lot of reasons . . . And their names were Bahir, Chris, and Jacob."

Surprisingly, even though I was 75% joking, that made him feel bad. If I do anything with in an overachiever fashion, it's owning my failures.

Now every day he's asking about the test and telling me, "You will pass. I pass chemistry. You pass teaching test. I will make sure." Then he gives me a knowing nod which makes me nervous.

Today two more people came in to observe me. Then the director of the program came in, on account of my now famously unruly class.

I was demonstrating balancing equations.

"Miss Fantubulis!" Bahir called.

I reflexively cringed, "Yes?"

"You make eet look so easy! How you do that? You are best teacher in the world!"

I couldn't help but laugh. What a crazy keed!

They observed like crazy then they left.

Bahir stood up, "Everyone contgredjoolate Ms Fantubulis." Bahir said triumphantly, "She is pass the test!"

He started clapping and waving his hands in the air jubilantly.

The rest of the class clapped too, but they were more amused by his butchering of the world congratulations and had no idea about the test or any passing that was or was not taking place.

What could I do? There was nothing else to do.

"Thank you, Bahir. I really appreciate you're help." I said as I handed him a balancing equations worksheet.

"What ees thees? I don want thees. Ees too hard! I will not do it! I refuse to do the worksheet! Why you make me do this?"

Ok. That odd helpful streak was over quick. "Bahir, this is good practice. This will be on the test."

"I don't want to do it! I will not!"


"Fine, what you want me do? I do it. What? Miss Fantubulis? What should I do, now?"

"Just try doing four. Ok? Start with four, then maybe you'll feel like doing the rest."

"Fine, Miss Fantubulis. I do four. Then I stop." He said slicing his hand through the air decisively. He got his pen and paper and started balancing equations.

I think I might actually like this job.

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