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Sixth Grade Sentences Revisited
More outstanding young writing
Back in October, I shared some great sixth grade sentences I’ve encountered over the years. Today’s My Back Pages will turn out to be a Part I, so why not give it some symmetry with a Part II of great sentences generated by the sixth grade. Take it all with a tall glass of [sic] because I’ve preserved the punctuation, spelling, and phrasing in all their 11 and 12 year-old glory.
One night I woke up to the smell of smoke, it smelled like 1 million pizzas burning.
That makes sense, I encouraged exaggeration. But kids could take similes in unexpected directions.
She was as mad as a farmer that just got dumped by his girlfriend.
Some make it interesting right from the title..
The Three Little Potatoes. (A violent story)
This one gave me Nope vibes.
One day on a hail storm, David was farming corn at the back of the farm. Until a u.f.o. came flying down towards the carrots. BOOM!!! The object crashes into a mess of smushed carrots.
I teach students about starting their essay strong, like encouraging them to try a Question Lead.
Who is Malala. That’s the question people ask who don’t know who she is and what she even did.
Not inaccurate, if not quite what I meant. I always love how you think a piece is going one way, and then it zigzags in a whole new direction.
“Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh,” she screamed at the top of her lungs.
“Hold on sweetie,” said an unknown cupcake.
Unknown Cupcake would be a great name for a band. Consider that foreshadowing for today’s My Back Pages.
One of the Sharks bit his left arm off But somehow it grew back.Then a shark bit his head off Is that also grew back.Then a great white shark ate him.After a few hours the great white shark went to the bottom of the ocean to a toilet and pooped him out. When he came out he had superpowers he was able to fly he add super speed and strength. He was also able jump super high he jumped so high like as he was a kangaroo.
It all turns out to be an origin story culminating in a simile that has BOTH like and as. Sixth grade writers are comic geniuses.
The Urban Blah
Back in 2009-11 I collaborated with the brilliant Lovisa to make a webcomic that failed to become syndicated across the globe. I am pro-recycling.
As my Real Life Wife™ reads this, I’d guess she’s making a version of the Blah wife’s face. This bit has very much not been retired from my rotation, I was doing it all weekend. I’m like, “I’m having dinner with my ex-girlfriend tonight, and she is HOT.” I love calling her my first wife, often inspiring a version of that facial expression. And I should point out that the Blah wife is way more of a foil than the Real Life Wife™ is, she’s absurdly funny on her own. Maybe she should have made good on her threats to start a rival comic, the Urbane Blah.
Speaking of funny ladies, Lovisa has her own substack, you should subscribe!
Jam of the Week
In 2017, the band DIIV played a private acoustic show after a year off, and last year they released the performance. A good live album is a snapshot of how a band sounded at one time, it’s usually the hits and fan favorites, maybe there’s a cover. DIIV’s first album Oshin is one of my all-time favorites, the pinnacle of bright repetitive guitar. Live at the Murmrr Theatre has a low-key take on that sound, every song sounds like the others, I was confusing which was from which album, even the My Bloody Valentine cover felt part of it all. If you’re unfamiliar, Oshin is certainly superior, but the live album is a great portrait of a band at the heigh of their powers.
My Back Pages
From my blog Surgical Strikes, “Broken Toaster Mania,” Aug 7, 2007.
Today, during an exceptionally dull meeting, I noticed everyone else was pretending to listen while they wrote or doodled on their own. I started free associating band an album names and wrote down whatever came to mind.
Between Hollywood and teaching, I spent six years at a university job that paid the bills and sapped the life out of me. I eventually parlayed it for a teaching degree and new career, and now I look back on that time I fondly. But I was a bad fit for an office job, and I often struggled to keep myself amused. During long meetings, I often brainstormed great word combinations.
Sometimes I’m not sure which is which, but feel free to start a band or name and album after any of these.Godzilla Eating an Apple Jerseys from Jetson Sasparillization Hurt the Foot Broken Toaster Mania Electricity for Donna Cheesin’ The Feggalos Fervish Dunkelbug Dill Will Zazoo McCray Edging the Carver Oh My Freckles Virgin of the Month Dogs and Dogs Watchy-Woo Nerve Tonic Outside Elf Empty Pencil Silo Mourning Estranged Flavored Pork Persona Frittata Rod Laver’s Towel Eat My Mind
What a list, I’m happy to put these in the world and encourage their use. I want to see a jam-band called Fervish Dunklebug. Wouldn’t you check out a small show with Outside Elf? A couple weeks later, I offered more names in “My blog muse, she loves me not,” Aug 22, 2007:
All I can offer at this time are more band/album names spontaneously generated to keep my brain from atrophying during an exceedingly dull Monday meeting:Jazzy Cashola Ecumenical Sheep Carving the Bucket Kiss My Mom Calzone of the Highlands Jerry Bluebunch Leg Up On Lefty Simultaneous Borscht Cello McGuillicutty Thinking About Surfing Dressed To Shill A Broom with a Crew Torture Mouse Donut Miner Boyar-DOA Pain of Seth Murder Soup Absolute Jake Krinkloid Lou Broccoli
Quick, someone write a mafia movie about Lou Broccoli. The bad guy could be Cello McGuillicutty, and he could dispatch the Torture Mouse. Ecumenical Sheep might be a good psych rock band, and I might be stuck on last week’s joke, but I can’t stop thinking about Simultaneous Borscht.
I found two more blog posts full of ridiculous band names, so stay tuned for Part II! You know, eventually.
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