Friday, January 6, 2012

Wirty Dords

In seventh grade, "wirty dords" is the kids' way of saying dirty words.  When they tattle, they tend to tell me that "So and so is using wirty dords."  Earlier this week, I had a HUGE slip-up and said a wirty dord. 

We're talking about matter in seventh grade right now, and I was trying to illustrate the concept of matter changing states, which is difficult to wrap your head around sometimes.  The traditional water-ice-steam example just wasn't making the lightbulbs go off.  I did a little demo about changing states, and then I did the main event demo.  I took a dollar bill out of my pocket and put it in a beaker of rubbing alcohol to soak.  The kids were so upset that I was "ruining a perfectly good dollar" and that I was going to make the ink on the bill run.  Then, I passed around the dollar so that they could see that it was wet, which they know is a good indicator that something is in the liquid state.  I took a lighter and lit the dollar on fire without saying a word.  The kids were shocked and apalled at my disregard for the well-being of the dollar bill.  They were so upset with me, calling me unpatriotic, etc. 

However, I miscalculated a bit.  Instead of the dollar slowly flaming as I have seen it do in the past, the entire bill caught fire with a whoosh.  My instinctive reaction was to say "oh SHOOT," except I didn't say shoot, but a a four letter word starting with s.  The kids were are startled as I've never cussed in front of them before and then thought it was absolutely hysterical.  The fire was quickly put out and the warm and dry dollar bill passed around the class again.  It was a bit difficult to get them back on the "matter is changing states" topic, but we eventually got off of the "Ms. Green said a wirty dord and it was funny" tangent.

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