Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Slam It Like a Fast Food Cash Drawer


Before we begin talking about fast food, I wish to tell you something about my teaching:

 Teaching a novel means grading homework. Though the effort of grading is worth saying, "Pass your homework up to the front of your rows."

Saying that phrase is a teacher rite of passage that I savor. Kids squirm in their desks and sshift their eyes toward the desk bordering theirs. Students' arms rise with the authority of bridges as they proudly push that lined paper forward. I put a paperclip on a given stack, smile, and get to say second favorite phrase: "It's time for your reading quiz."

Now, this five question exercise in accountability is hardly something to fear. For the naysayers out there who are having HS flashbacks - or the English teachers think I'm drilling and killing - stay your hands; I am much more satisfied with the discussion of the novel the students are reading. The sound of students' dialogue as they interpret the text and break down the directions to one another - the sound of interdependent learning -  is a choir filled with the cast of the Voice standing on a mountain of golden Godiva products being conducted by Michelle Obama. Students reading outside of school, not just out of fear pf grades, is better.

Before I go: Twice a day five days a week I drive past the McDonald's on the corner near the school and I think this:



McDonald's I want you with both drive-throughs open.
The cash drawer rattling open slamming against the counter,
hungry for me. 
French fries odor a giant cartoon hand pulling my bumper along
my fist trembling as it releases my money. 
I want the sauce spewing out the wide open windows
flowing all through my ride, sweeter than break beats. 
Your salt will rain down on me like the seven plagues of old,
destroy my heart and liver and I'll thank you. I'll let my head rest on 
the steering wheel - let the horn blare- when I realize I failed to use
my Monopoly coupon for a free McFlurry. 
Most people would run, drive past, or weigh you - and those who consumed you- 
but my arms are open. 
I want you like the camera man on the local newstation
wants that the action shot of sweating five hundred pound man
gyrating his elephant sized torso, his face covered by a black bar
all in time for the American obesity five minute story.
Just not today. 

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