Improbable Phrases

Who says that?


This post is largely visual. There are two fruits I have discovered in Indonesia that are wildly different on the outside, but the same on the inside.

Exhibit A, Rambutan inside and outside:


Exhibit B, Longan inside and outside:


As you can see, they’re very similar. We were discussing fruits in 5B and these two fruits totally divided the room. Some kids hated longan and loved rambutans, and vice versa. I had never noticed any real difference in taste, but apparently the kids thought they were very different.

After a few rounds of one side attempting to exert fruit dominance over the other, we decided to agree to disagree. But not until after one of my kids said that he agreed with me that the fruits were the same. “They’re like twins; but in different sweaters,” he announced.

As I was getting photos for this post, I noticed this picture, and so I guess maybe they’re triplets?

Source here.


Breaking the Children

Two syllable words either have first or second syllable stress when pronounced correctly.
First syllable stress, like in the word “teenage,” is referred to as trochaic stress.
Second syllable stress, like in the word “remark,” is referred to as iambic stress.

If we were doing single words, the kids would have it made in the shade. But poetic lines that have an iambic or trochaic rhythm are killing my 10th graders.

The difference between stress and rhythm is that you have to maintain the pattern. In trochaic rhythm every other syllable is stressed starting with the first one. With iambic rhythm the first syllable is unstressed, followed by a stressed syllable, and so on.

I explained to them that the rhythms allowed for minor cheating, like the off-pattern inclusion of small words (things like: a, an, the, is) but you couldn’t mispronounce words to “make it work.”

This explanation took about 15 minutes. It took another 45 before the kids, working together, could come up with even one line that fit the pattern and made sense.

Just like that, I’ve found the thing we will be spending this whole quarter on with my 10th graders.

They won’t like it, but clearly they need it. Half of this quarter on iambic rhythm, half on trochaic rhythm. Maybe by then they won’t have to bob their heads so much to figure out if the lines are right. But I kind of hope not. It’s my free entertainment.

It Runs! It Runs!

I have this little nick of missing skin on one of my hands. I can’t figure out where I got it from. I just noticed it this morning. I have no idea how it happens. I have a bruise on one hip, too. Am I ramming myself into things while I’m sleeping? No idea.

As you can tell, I don’t really have anything of great value to say today. Here. Have a video of a carnivorous plant.

Sometimes Length is Overrated.

We spent 45 minutes in one of my classes today writing 6 word stories. Could you tell a whole, compelling story kernel in 6 words?

A lot of what I got were basic sentences and simple story-starter type lines, but at least they were thinking. And they weren’t fighting me on when they could finally leave.

For my own personal amusement, have you ever sat with a room full of people counting to six over and over on their fingers? I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Best thing I’ve seen all week.

The wind blew the papers away.

She decided to relax with books.

The blue scarf kept her warm.