Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Of Course She Did

I have a student who is obsessed with, wait for it, blobfish. Yes, you read that right. And while I am going to change her name, I didn't change the obsession to something less identifying like shrimp or clownfish or something girls are normally obsessed with like unicorns (which she is also obsessed with along with the poop emoji).

For those of you completely unfamiliar with blobfish, they are a deep-sea dwelling pink fish that looks like, you guessed it, a blob. With a nose that droops over it's frowning mouth and beady eyes it doesn't have any muscles. (Also it's poisonous. Don't eat it.) Quite frankly, it was voted the worlds ugliest animal.

She thinks they are adorable.

The day before Christmas vacation she got a letter from Santa in response to her persuasive essay on why he should hire her as his decorator elf. The letter was lovely. It extolled her virtues and complimented her on applying for the job. It ended with a post script, several actually. Post script #2 (or P.P.S) said, "Mrs. Claus found a blobfish and thought it was so adorable she named it after you."

She screamed.

In class.


Actually, I was waiting for the scream. Santa's letter workshop was in my parents' kitchen and I had read all the letters before the elves delivered them the next day. It was still loud.

She's been obsessed with them before the school year began. A few weeks ago she painted a blobfish picture and leaned it next to my whiteboard. I moved it and listened to her complaints until she spotted it in a less noticeable corner.

Apparently, that gave her permission to make more blobfish pictures. Well, it may have been that I had a substitute a week or so later. And she had art that day. The art teacher is cool. She gives them projects and then lets them work on what they want.

In the case of my student who has an amazing name that I'm not going to put here, blobfish drawings was what she wanted to do.

From what I can gather, she made at least 2 blobfish drawings in art class and another with my scratch paper back in class. And at some point during the day, I'm not sure when, but probably before lunch, she taped them to my walls.

Okay, fine. She taped one to the cupboards, one on Larry the U.S. Dragon (named by my students, he has a handcart and is almost as tall as my room, not including his tail), and taped the third (the one drawn on my scratch paper) to my corner reading castle.

I gave an exasperated sigh when I saw the first one. The sub let her do that? Then I saw the second one. On my dragon. That I had painted. And the tape would probably take the paint off.

I bolted across my room to carefully peel the tape off. I was lucky my students weren't there. If they were they'd have said, "No, Miss Maddox! You'll hurt your leg!" Which is what happened the first time I ran in my classroom.

I digress.

I took the blobfish picture down, folded it gently and put it in her mail bin. I did the same with the one on my cupboard. After another quick sweep of my classroom to make sure there weren't anymore on my walls, I sat back down to my computer and got to work.

I don't know why it took me so long to spot the third one when I knew full well there would be a third one. But to be fair, it was on smaller paper, on the side of my castle, hidden behind a bookend.

Of course she would put a blob fish on my castle. Of course she would. It too went in her bin.

A few days later we got a flyer for the upcoming book fair. It had a picture of books and other fun things they were going to sell and a note saying the dates and times the students could go. I glanced through it, but failed to notice the one thing that would elicit a squeal from a student and a mad dash over to Blobfish Lover.

"Look! There's a blobfish book!"

I had the friend go sit down. "We don't run in class," I reminded her. "You can look at that later. When the bell rings."

I forgot to look at it later. She did not.

Pink is for Blobfish written by Jess Keating.

She bought it.

Of course she did.


  1. What a fun slice of life! Sounds like you give your students the passion to follow their own!

  2. You should give her a folder where she can keep all her blobfish creations!

  3. Great slice!!! You mentioned once, or twice that you digressed. Actually, I want to learn how to put in incidentals that totally relate to the story - just as you did here. I was scrolling furiously to read your slice - I couldn't wait to see what this amazing, creative, squealing student of yours was going to do next! Oh, and return letters FROM Santa? Def going to use that one! Genius.

  4. The whole time I was reading this, I thought her obsession must have come from the book. The fact that it didn't is awesome, because you KNOW how thrilled she was to find it!

    You have such a great tone and voice in your slices! I hope you keep after March is over.