Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mr. Owens, Revisited

Overheard in a student book club the other day...

I've taught my students to distinguish between a "fat" question, which requires thougt and effort to answer, and a skinny question, for which the answer could come straight from the book or might only be one word. The kids were debating whether or not another student's question was fat and trying not to hurt her feelings. (It was insanely skinny)

Mr. Owens, the master of sensitivity, listened to the other children hemming and hawing around telling her it was a terrible question. Finally, he threw up his hands and said, "Look, Tricia. Your question is obviously quite lean. I'd say it's a husky lean question, but it's definitely lean. Write down skinny and let's move on." A hush fell over the others and he leaned back obliviously and crossed his hands behind his head as he rocked back in his chair.

I bit my tongue and scurried to the other side of the room, lest Tricia, the writer of all questions lean, hear me laugh at her expense. I heart Mr. Owens.

No comments: