Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Babes – Making It Fit

Yesterday, the 2nd graders went on a rock hunt to a nearby park.  This field trip closed out a unit of study on geology that we finished up this week.  It’s always a fun (free) field trip, and the kids LOVE IT.  We send the kids off to hunt for rocks with a bucket or a sack.  They are told that they may collect the rocks to take back to class for further observation, but whatever they take they have to carry.  Most kids pick up a handful of small-to-medium sized rocks and easily return with them to school.  Others, well, let’s just say on the walk back to campus most of theirs fall out of the overfilled bag or bucket, and they end up with nothing upon their return. 

Anyhow, G is a student who falls into the latter category.  Right out of the starting block, G found a piece of concrete about 5”x5” that had an impression of some kind in it.  He brought it to me asking if he had found a fossil.  It was really very cute.  I told him that it was like a fossil, and explained that it was a piece of concrete with an imprint in it…about 47 times, which by that time it was no longer cute.  He also asked me 47 times if he could take it back with him.  My response to that question always is, “You may take any rock back if it fits in your bag.  But remember you have to carry it.  I will not.” 

While I roamed around the park, checking in with my kids, I noticed G carrying his “fossil” debating what to do as it was awfully big for his bag.  Just before rounding everyone up to eat lunch, he came up to me carrying his wrinkled bag, flattened and stretched out as far as it would go without tearing.  He had a huge grin on his face.

“Miss Delight!  I made it fit!” he was beaming.

“I see that,” I responded.

“Yah, just like a Mexican,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Wait, what was that?” I asked, wondering if I heard him right.

“I made it fit,” he said proudly, “like a Mexican.  We make things fit.”

“I haven’t heard that before,” I said.  “Who told you that?”

“Oh, my uncle, my mom, everybody.” 

Now living in Southern California I have heard many stereotypes about Mexicans.  This was a new one.  While the kids ate lunch, I mentioned the story to the other teachers I teach with, one who is married to a Mexican.  We all had a chuckle over this 7-year-old’s stereotyping himself, as it was a new one for them too.

I texted one of my friends, who also happens to be Mexican.  I told him the story and asked what he knew about it.  This was the response…
”It’s true!  The browns make it work.  It is a bad stereotype, but funny.”

You learn something new every day.  And hey, if you’re going to have a stereotype, being a people who make things work, that doesn’t seem so bad. 


  1. Awww! I love that he made his 5x5 piece of concrete fit in the bag. That is too cute. I also love his stereotype of himself. Sweetness. I agree. What a great stereotype to have.

    1. Yes, he's very cute and witty. It also goes to show you that nothing is sacred. You say it at home, your child's teacher is going to hear about it. :)

  2. Love it!
    I have not heard that either and grew up with a lot of Mexican families down south....I did learn to make some awesome beans though :)

    1. Oh yes, the best food. My new school is in the oldest part of the city and most of the families are Latino families. When I get out of my car in the morning and in it in the afternoon I can smell all the homemade food being made in the small homes that surround the school. Mmmmm, I love Mexican food!! They sure make that work. :)

  3. I keep getting confused with the grading system for classes but 2nd grade is the same as out 2nd class-ishy. So I don't know the why's of the confusion.
    I don't remember Geology being part of any schooling but I must've sometime. Where else did I learn about Devonian and Cambrian and since they are only words and the only reason I connect with Devonian comes from a visit to Lyme Regis and the fossils, not, I must emphasise chick flick French Lieutenant any darn thing at all-ie.
    You know something, if an old person did like that kid with the questioning and persistence in schlepping the lump of concrete you'd say there was a problem with his short term memory.

    1. I have one word for you...NEEDY. The number of times I get asked the same question this year is slowly killing me. Early in this school year I thought it was a listening/following directions issue, but now I see it's attention seeking behavior. The neediest class I've ever's exhausting.
      Yes! Mary Anning and her brother Joseph are heroes in my class...kid fossil hunters! That area seems to be a hotbed of fossils, even now.

    2. They could very well be needy. Still I can remember being woolly after lunch, sometimes losing a lot of what I knew that morning. A bit like having sugar blow the mind a bit in an otherwise sharp kid. Do you supply juice as a pick-me-up ?.

    3. Oh sure, there's always that issue as well. They've eaten, they've played, they're tired. Unfortunately that million questions things starts first thing in the morning! Except this morning because I'm on spring break for TWO WEEKS - ha ha ha! And couldn't be happier. :)
      As for the juice, we're not allowed to give the kids anything's against the "wellness policy". Since most at my school are provided with a school lunch they are served something resembling a balanced meal, but that only helps if they choose to eat it. Many throw the fruit and veggies away.

    4. I missed the two weeks off bit. I hope you have a good time and don't go nutty doing work. It doesn't connect with Easter ?.

    5. Yes thank you! It's been brilliant so far. I was asked to travel with a friend this break, but regrettably had to turn her down. I never give up a chance to travel, but the thought of doing anything other than be incredibly lazy after the trimester I've just had was unfathomable. There were 5 must-dos on my to do list (not for school, just life) and 4 are done with the last being an eye appt next week, plus tons of reading, painting, drawing, and sleeping. :) Sorely needed too.
      Yah, I've had the question about the break and Easter a few times this week. When I was in school this week was called Easter break, but now it's not so much tied to the holiday. I don't know if that's because of religion/public school issues or not. It seems that the timing is always linked to our trimesters which are about 12 weeks in length. Often, Easter is in that break somewhere, but this year with it being so late it wouldn't have matched up with the end of our grading period.