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Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.

Welcome to ADHD

[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks! And know these accounts are truewithout exaggeration!]

T beard 2    Would you let this grizzled guy teach YOUR child? Of course not …

During a well-attended roast of my friend, noted painter and author Hyatt Moore, the guest speaker cleverly says, “The important thing about Hyatt is he’s not no small thinker.”

We laugh at the puzzling double-negative of that assessment, trying to sort out whether the delivery intends to slap Hyatt on the back or shoot him in the buns.

Screen Five explains, I do not find it illogical. Simply put, Mr. Moore is a man of minute detail as well as a man able to see the big picture.

“You sound more like Spock every day, Five.”

Your daughter also captures the intricacies of the insignificant, Blackie, he replies, sounding still more like Spock. To support his point, he quotes Leah’s most recent missive:

So I’m reading my Philosophy homework (for the class just eight hours from now – ha!) and I’ve come up with two pretty important questions, Dad. Please advise ….

1. When you spray an item with Febreze, WHERE does the smell go? It can’t just literally disappear.

2. Why are these cheap pens the best in the entire world? They make me WANT to take notes during class.

Brilliant girl, that Leah, applauds Three.

“Oh, it’s brilliance you want, is it?” I ask. “Well, then, you should be looking at the thought patterns of my next-youngest brother and the students he leads. Thor (aka Ted) serves as a substitute whenever the school wants him, and here’s what he sent me about his latest assignment.”

Soooooooo….  I am teaching third-graders. We are listening to a CD and taking a “virtual tour” of the Midwestern states. The narrator gives a brief overview of the state we are visiting (its commerce, history, and geographical landscape), then cites three or four “key items” about that state.

Crazy HorseWe first learn about Iowa and Missouri. Then we “fly” on to South Dakota, where we hear about Mt. Rushmore (with its four presidents) and the significance of the Indian leader “Crazy Horse” statue being carved out of a mountainside. We also get the story of [General George] Custer’s last stand as he is defeated by Sitting Bull during the battle of Little Big Horn.

Every third-grader is supposed to write a sentence about one of the facts they learned and why it stood out for them. We have time left after we finish our tour of the Midwest, so I ask some of the kids to read to the class what they have written.

I call on Aiden, a quiet little kid with glasses, to share his thoughts. He says, “My favorite place we visited is South Dakota.”

“And why is that, Aiden?”

“I like ice cream. I am sad to hear that General Custard was killed by Sitting Bull during the war. He invented some great ice cream.”

I quickly explain the difference between “General Custer” and custard ice cream. Aiden’s anxious face begins to relax. I tell him, “I’m so glad we cleared that up.”

Good job, Teddy Bum! cheer the six screens. Murmurs Two, As Miss Laura (Blackie’s beautiful brown-eyed bride) has said, “Ted’s the perfect teacher to appreciate a misunderstanding like that and be gentle with the child.”

Seeing that I have set his General Custard concerns aside, I say to Aiden with a smirk, “Now, let me tell you all about Chief Pudding.”


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Postscript: Thor’s bad influence doesn’t end with third-graders. Some foolish school unleashes my brother on even younger brains …

I taught kindergarten today – exhausting!!! Another teacher came in to speak about not invading others’ space. But instead of saying “personal space,” the teacher talks about “my bubble,” cautioning kids not to get too close to someone else’s bubble for fear of “bursting” it (by crowding them).

She finishes her lesson and leaves. I am in the front of the room, explaining my next assignment for the class – cutting out a gingerbread kid – when a boy comes up and stands close to me. REALLY close.

“Andrew, what are you doing?” I ask. Then, hoping to use what the kids have just learned, I add, “You are invading my bubble space.”

Andrew says, “I’m gonna break your bubble,” swings his fist at the imaginary safety bubble surrounding me, and hits me in the groin.

Thor will need something cold on his groin, remarks Screen Five. Buy him a pint of Custer Ice Cream.

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Substitute [by Clout]

Teachers whip up “Les Mis” flash mob

“300” honors those who teach us

Goodbye to Yogi, baseball legend and unintentional humorist