Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for Valentine's Day

What did the boy bird say to the girl bird?

Garfield is one of my closest friends. The alarm goes off around 4:30 am, I reach for the laptop and see what Garfield is up to. As a substitute teacher, I would bribe the class with his jokes. I'd draw his picture on the board, put the questions to the riddle up and tell the kids I wouldn't give them the punchline unless...the whole class could be complete 15 minutes of work, or be good until recess, or clean up the class. Whatever needed to be done. The rascaliest students really wanted the joke, so everyone would cooperate. I told them I wasn't sure if it was even legal to keep a punchline from them, it seemed like cruel and unusual punishment (but I never had to withhold a punchline ever.) Humor is a great break in the authoritarian regimen; and puns do teach language arts in their multiple meaning words. Oh, the punchline: let me call you Tweetheart. Maybe to be current I should change the riddle to, 
'
'What did the boy bird text to the girl bird?'
Let me call you Tweetheart.


“Humor is a very important component of emotional health, maintaining relationships, developing cognitive function and perhaps even medical health,” said Allan Reiss, MD, who directs the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford
http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/january/reiss.html  

Most of us know the ancient proverb, 'A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.' 
Leave it to Stanford to use an MRI to prove it! They hooked up kids and showed them funny and nonfunny material. I wonder how these jokes would do.



If you don't like cheese, don't read these!

Here is some more silly:

Did you hear about the romance in the tropical fish tank?
It was a case of guppy love.


What did one piece of string say to the other piece of string?
Please be my valentwine!





What did the French chef give his wife for Valentine's Day?
A hug and a quiche.



What did the farmer give his wife for Valentine's Day?
Hogs and kisses. 
What did Frankenstein ask his girlfriend?
Won't you be my Valenstein? 


What is serious about this holiday is that some of our students are in difficult circumstances due to stressors in their families. They can't write a valentine to mom or dad or other relatives. They may be in the middle of a family break up, in foster care, or suffered a great loss. Our job is to be aware of this, first of all, and maybe have an additional activity to take the edge off the intensity of the student's actual life. Maybe valentines to mail to troops overseas, or to a local nursing home or hospital. Maybe a writing project to write an anecdote of  a time someone showed kindness and love to the student. This could be emotional, but also cathartic. Life is tough, and the facade of the perfect family life is very difficult at times for many kids. Recalling a time of warmth and stability can be a positive moment on a dark day. I've had unique class situations where we could share such a writing project in discussion, and the other students were very supportive.


                                             Thanks, Garfield and other silly souls for 
                                                             keeping it real. Real silly.

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