Sometimes, the urge to goof around in class is overwhelming. For instance, when we are repeating sentences like, “Brush the dog. Pet the cat. Pick up the hamster. Feed the fish,” I just want to say, “Kick the dog. Slap the cat. Step on the hamster. Flush the fish.” I mean, I would never actually DO those things, nor would I encourage anyone else to do them. The ASPCA does not need to put me on a 10 Most Wanted list or anything. But I just want to see if they’re listening, or mindlessly repeating. The adults are easy. I slip things into the dialogues with them. For example, we were working on apologies one day, so the conversation sounded something like this:

“I’m sorry for setting your house on fire.”

“That’s okay.”

“This is the first time I’ve ever set someone’s house on fire. I feel terrible.”

“Don’t worry about it. These things happen.”

The class really liked that one. I just hope they don’t think that it’s common in America for neighbors to go around setting one another’s houses on fire.