Things My Famous Students Said

If you’re a teacher you should realize your students have much to teach you. More importantly, they say much to entertain you. When I taught, I recorded things my students said whenever something struck me and I happened to have a moment to write it down. I posted these random gleanings on the bulletin board, where they became popular reading. These were Denver School of the Arts students, 1997 – 2010.

Do you want to get school food or real food? —Rubi Valles

Are we allowed to eat in here or should I do it secretly under the table? —Abbey Fine

“What am I going to eat next?” That’s the question that plagues us all.   —Calvin Thomas

Brendan Craine, examining the new bell schedule:  This is going to throw off my Mountain Dew drinking routine.

Explaining her need for a knife: I can’t eat a banana unless I do it in a very orderly fashion.                                                            —Julie Rhodes

Replying to the comment that she seems older than she is: My mom put Miracle-Gro in my milk or something. —Tenlie Mourning

On why the open mic with spaghetti dinner was successful: It’s like training sharks: you throw meat in the water and they show up.—Brendan Jordan

Lettuce is putrid and disgusting and I don’t understand it. —Maurice Ka


On being asked to write about a wild animal: Could I write about a domestic animal? I’m a domestic kind of guy.  —Matt Daley

On why he has a B in British Literature: I just don’t feel the need to excel. —Charlie Mertens

Perfection gets annoying really quickly.  —Megan Ingraham

On being told someone lied to a teacher: Lying is bad for the soul but good for the grades. —Sam Miller

About going to R-rated movies before turning 17: I hate it when they force me to do things illegally.  —Liz Bootz

I didn’t have any ideas in the 9th grade.  —Molly Bilker, reviewing past writing

I swear I’m losing brain cells just sitting by you guys.  —Becky Revoal, to Jake, Ruben, Tim & Mark

Group work helps me learn Spanish. It sounds lame, but I have a theory: three people who know nothing about Spanish ultimately know more than one person who knows nothing about Spanish.  —Alex Eschen

I can’t think. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. —Brook Burkhardt

My life was pretty unproductive as a child.  —Aimee Schachter, then 15

Did you know that Moms will say yes to anything when they’re half-asleep?   —Erin Bollacker

If you’re having a problem with a teacher, do you think you should kidnap her children? —Adam Segal

Some questions are rhetorical for a reason.  —Hava Rosenberg

On the incomplete computer network in the new building, year one:  They should leave it that way. It’s cool when things don’t work. —Evan Conroy

On the new building, year three: I have one problem with this school. The only comfortable seating belongs to Creative Writing.   —Stephen Edwards

I love the universe. The earth is kind of iffy, but that’s just because of humans. —Bonnie Hilton

On world history: A lot of shit has happened since people started talking and wearing clothes. —Sarah Kaplan-Gould


Overheard in the hall: I hate it when the tenors don’t know their part.

Drums cover up everything that’s going wrong with the band.  —Jeff Fajardo, percussionist

Techies smell like sawdust and B.O. and dancers smell like perfume and B.O.   —Candace Clark, techie

Discussing drama students’ resistance to change:  We’re like old men: we’re used to our coffee at the same time every morning. —Amy Simpson, theatre major

Talking about a successful musician: Money makes a man strange.  —Jerod Sarlo, piano

On the harshness of a critique in creative writing: We only shred famous authors who aren’t in the room.  —Tom Simmons

I tried to read Twilight again, but the grammar errors made my head explode  —Mickayla Skelton

I like love poems that end in death. —Emily Lane


Guess what I discovered? If I do my homework during my free period I don’t have to do it at home. —Shelby Tucker, in her senior year

After spending hours assembling many sheets of paper to turn in her final journal assignment: This is why you have us keep it all in one notebook, isn’t it?     —Leah Kuehn, in her senior year

On being told he’s a senior: Yeah, I know. I thought I’d be dead by now. —Dillon Locke

Disbelief is an excellent thing to exercise.  —Filipp Dedogryuk

On entering the classroom: What are we supposed to do about the kids in the hall arguing about Abercrombie or American Eagle, which is the best and how many outfits they have? —Paul Hamilton-Pennell

Hound’s tooth: there’s nothing cooler. —Devon Varoz

On wearing a neon green sweater: I look like a highlighter today. —Gabriela Gonzales

On entering the classroom: It reeks of children in here.  —Domenic Rubio

On entering the classroom: I don’t know if you guys realize this, but there are a lot of dumb people in the world. —Christina Alves

On being asked why he’s constantly wandering around the room: I’m churning my creative juices. —Spencer Mackey

I generally try to maintain the gait of a velociraptor.    —Erik Brockbank

Just call on me if you need anything immature.  —Destiney Scott




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10 Responses to Things My Famous Students Said

  1. Patti Bippus says:

    Great fun! Knowing many of those students ran some nice replayed videos in my mind.

  2. Phil McDorgan says:

    Hilarious! I love the take on World History. So true… what can you say?

  3. Gregg Painter says:

    All very funny comments! The one about Twilight reminded me of one of my favorite Language Log posts (it’s a great site about/by linguists.) This one is about Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code.

  4. Denise Gibson says:

    These quotes brought many a smile to my face. Thanks for the fun…and the wisdom of youth.

  5. Jana says:

    Wonderful that you kept these, Pat, and that you recorded them in the first place. I know people who keep the pennies they find on the ground. i like your “loose change” much more!

  6. winnie barrett says:

    Art Linkletter was right 50 and 60 years ago. OMG I just realized how old that makes me sound. But out of the mouths of babes and teenagers come quirky funny zany and profound insights into the creative mind, eh? very entertaining, Pat. You must have enjoyed your teaching days.

  7. Athena Gonzalez says:

    Patricia Dubrava – I would bask in your words, they are the light to my soul.
    ~ Your granddaughter – Athena.

    – Hilarious! I love it!!

  8. Bob Jaeger says:

    Thanks for the laughs. These are great; I’d buy a book full of them. Almost makes me miss the classroom.

  9. patti bippus says:

    Ha ha ha! (That’s a wistful chuckle) I sure miss the verbal mind tracks of those kids.

  10. Scott Springer says:

    Fun to read. I remember a lot of these students from my DSA days!

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