Showing posts with label funny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label funny. Show all posts

5.1.24

Things in My Type ‘B’ Classroom that just Makes Sense

Welcome to 'Things in My Type ‘B’ Classroom that Just Makes Sense,' a unique exploration of the unconventional yet harmonious world of a Type B classroom. In this post, we delve into the charmingly unorganized library, the intriguing 'Random Bowls,' and the essential first aid kit, each element artfully contributing to the distinctiveness of our learning environment. 
Discover how these seemingly haphazard items are not merely decorative but integral to our educational fabric, fostering an atmosphere of discovery and engagement. Join us as we celebrate the eclectic and purposeful arrangement that defines the spirit of a Type B classroom, where every item has a story and every corner a lesson.

In my Type Two classroom, a charmingly unorganized library coexists with a ‘Random Bowl’ and a first aid kit, nestled beside another ‘Random Bowl.’ Each element, though appearing haphazard, subtly underscores the distinctiveness of a Type B classroom. Here, an assorted collection of items isn’t just decorative; they’re integral, seamlessly weaving into the fabric of our learning space. This arrangement fosters an atmosphere where eclectic, unconventional elements find harmony and purpose, enhancing the sense of discovery and engagement in our educational journey.

20.7.23

Sprinkles and Bazookas: A Candid Conversation Between Two High School English Teachers"

More than a year ago, I had a fun conversation about teaching with a colleague and a friend about teaching, but although it was a podcast, it needed to also have a print version. So here it is — 

Join Greig Roselli and Amira Esposito as they share their journey from strangers to best friends, their teaching styles, and their love for English Language Arts.

Introduction: Meet Greig and Amira
Hi, my name is Greig Roselli, and this is my friend, Amira Esposito, also known as Amira Boothe-Soifer. We are two crazy high school English teachers working in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens. Welcome to our inaugural podcast, where we share our story, teaching styles, and passion for English.

How We Met: From Creepy to Besties
Our meeting was anything but ordinary. Greig thought he was being friendly, but Amira found his attempts to connect a bit creepy. After a month and a half of misunderstanding, they discovered a shared connection and quickly became best friends.

Our Teaching Styles: Tasmanian Devil vs. Quiet Loony
Our teaching styles are as different as night and day. Greig is boisterous and performative, while Amira is more traditional and intuitive. Despite these differences, we both believe in showing vulnerability in the classroom to make learning more accessible.

The Sprinkles Club: A Safe Space for All
Fast forward five years, and we've spearheaded the Sprinkles Club, our school's Gay-Straight Alliance. We're planning events like the AIDS walk and possibly hosting an Anti-Prom to create a safe and accepting environment for all students.

Dolly Parton, Bazookas, and Teaching Credo
From Dolly Parton's bazookas to our own teaching philosophies, we explore how vulnerability and svital topression are key to connecting with students. We believe in embracing our unique selves and encouraging our students to do the same.

Adjectives That Define Us: Boisterous, Loyal, Timid, Intuitive
We describe each other in terms that reflect our personalities and teaching styles. Greig is boisterous and loyal, while Amira is timid and highly intuitive. These traits shape our approach to teaching and our relationship with each other.

Conclusion
English Teachers are different in many ways, but our love for English and our students inspire and unite us. Whether we're discussing vocabulary words or sharing personal anecdotes, our passion for teaching shines through. Join us as we continue to explore the world of English, sprinkles, and everything in between.

13.3.23

Meme: Ross Matthews and Otho Share an Uncanny Resemblance

Do Ross Matthews of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fame and the character Otho from the 1988 movie Beetlejuice (played by Glenn Shadix) share an uncanny resemblance? I think so. Share if you agree. 
Ross Matthews and Otho are in the image against a purple background with Ru Paul and the sand snake from Beetlejuice
Memes We Love to See: © 2023 Stones of Erasmus
If we take a closer look at Ross Matthews and Otho's appearance, it's hard not to see the resemblance. Both have a similar facial structure, a prominent chin, and an expressive gaze that instantly draws you in. Ross Matthews is famous for his role as a judge on Ru Paul's Drag Race, where he has become a fan favorite for his endearing personality and quick wit. Meanwhile, Otho, portrayed by the late Glenn Shadix, is a character in the 1988 Tim Burton-directed film Beetlejuice. Otho is an interior designer who helps the ghostly couple who haunts a house to scare off the new living inhabitants.

While Ross Matthews is a real person and Otho is a fictional character, the idea that they could exist in the same movie universe is more plausible than it seems. Both Tim Burton-directed movies and Ru Paul's Drag Race are known for their campy, colorful, and often outrageous aesthetics. In fact, the idea of a drag queen and a flamboyantly styled interior designer crossing paths in a fantastical cinematic universe would make for an entertaining and hilarious movie.

Whether or not Ross Matthews' and Otho's similarities are intentional or coincidental, it's still fun to imagine the two coexisting in a shared universe. As pop culture enthusiasts, we can't help but look for hidden connections between our favorite shows and movies. And who knows, maybe we'll see Ross Matthews and Otho team up for an unforgettable adventure that will leave us laughing and cheering from start to finish.

20.8.22

Sprinkles! We Did That!: Amira and Greig's First High School English Teacher Duo Podcast (Now on Soundcloud)

In this post, Greig, and Amira, both high school English teachers, share, talk, and laugh in their first-ever inaugural podcast, "Sprinkles! We Did That!"

I repost the first (and probably last) podcast of Amira and Greig's show Sprinkles! We Did That! We talk about teaching, funny moments in the classroom, starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at our school, our favorite words to describe each other, how we became friends, Dolly Parton, improbable events, and gayness!


Please listen and give a shout-out! Share, too.

19.8.22

Photos Taken Near the Bronx River and Two Stories About New York City from Louisianians

In this post, I ask two family members from Louisiana to give their impressions of New York City. These are their responses.

Stylized photograph of the author
In this photograph, I am
waiting for the Q44 bus in the Bronx,
right next to the Bronx River.

A New York City subway train traverses the Bronx River.
A New York City subway train
traverses the Bronx River.
When I asked my school-aged nephew what he thought about New York, he replied: “I think that it's like very crowded and a lot of people like foods there and the best place is probably the pizza. And it's probably the best food. Thank you for your time, everybody.”


And then, I asked him to imagine what the city smelled like and felt like (using sensory details): “New York is fun and stinky and interesting, like a hot dog.”

When I asked my seventy-something-year-old aunt what people in Louisiana think about New York, she told me a story: “Greig, I would say they think it's too dangerous, but when I went to New York with Uncle Raymond in 1993, that's the only place that I was able to go out at night shopping. Even in New Orleans, even when we lived in Chalmette, I couldn't go out at night shopping. Oh my God. I forgot how many years ago. That was probably twenty-odd years ago. But in New York, I could go shopping. We had a hotel near Times Square, So I was able to go up and down that street without any restrictions in the middle of the night. Do you know? And, um, you know, I never go at night, and Uncle Raymond never let me go anyplace at night.”

Three kids walk past a bus stop In the Bronx.A sign advises against littering, but someone left an informative note.
Photos (L) Three kids walk past a bus stop In the Bronx. (R) A sign advises against littering, but someone left an informative note.

6.4.22

POV: Counting Time as a School Secretary (If You Are Seated at the Front Desk)

In this post, I articulate the unique perspective a school secretary has on the inner workings of a school.
Point-of-View: The Main Hallway of a School as Seen by the School Secretary

Ms. Lauren Yandow walks down the main hallway
with her kindergarteners and
waves to the school secretary.
School secretaries have a unique insight into how the inner workings of a school function, allowing them incredible insight that few other people can even begin to fathom. Sitting at the front desk during the school day is almost like being immersed in an ever-flowing river of students — it's fascinating! Each passing moment brings new surprises and never fails to remind you just how diverse and vibrant life at each school can be.

16.9.21

Why I Love TikTok Content Creators (And So Should You) — And a List of Zany TikToks I Found

I have a penchant for the theatrical. 
The dime novel. The beauty in the absurd. The homemade movie. The guy with the camera turned on himself. The take-a-household-item-and-make-a-prop kind of performativity. 

You get the gist.

And where can you find the most beautiful schlock the Internet has ever created? Why go no further than TikTok. It's a platform where content creators put their own identities front and center — and it's a highly satisfying romp.

If you didn't know — TikTok is a mobile video app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The first iteration of the app was dubbed Musical.ly, authored by software Engineers Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang. Basically, the app began as a lip syncing app called Musical.ly and its companion live streaming app called live.ly. TikTok was a rebrand of the app that attempted to fold both features of the two social apps into one.

And the rest is history. 

Just as Twitter revolutionized the short writing form of 265 characters, TikTok has ushered in the micro-length video form of 15 to 30 seconds.

The draw of TikTok is twofold — it’s easy to use and to create content with, coupled with its immense sound and music library and its unending filter library. However, the best TikToks have neither — they’re pure spun dioramas of peoples constructed private lives. And it’s why I first was enamored of the platform — peering into people’s live created in a dizzying array of quick action theater of the absurd. 

Here are some gems I’ve collected along the way. 

1. The Smiling, Waving Homage to The Sitcom Montage
This teen has an instinctual appreciation for the visual grammar of the iconic television sitcom montage — ignore the silly tune — and pay attention to how his edits match perfectly something out of American television classics Growing Pains or Family Ties.

2. Antoinette's Casual Use of the Cigarette
It’s easy to dismiss @antoniteegrams because her videos are riffs on soundbytes. But she’s so humble in her mien and I love her casual use of the cigarette. I have no idea what the original source of the soundbyte is but that’s what makes TikTok endearing. Any random noise can be strewn into actor’s gold. Andy Warhol was partly right — in the future everyone will be famous — but not just for five minutes, but for as long as you have working Internet and a smartphone with a halfway decent camera.

3. The Family Dinner Table is Often a Suitable Mise-en-Scene
@eddiepdoyle videos his grandmother’s acerbic comebacks in dozens of video. TikTok has made many folks Internet famous because a cousin, or grandson, or daughter, or someone, picked up a camera and started candidly filming a family member. The immediacy of the moment is right at your fingertips, as if you’ve stumbled into this woman’s cluttered kitchen and she wants to know what you want from her. Classic.

4. A Colorful Edit

It’s possible that this edit is rather basic. But it's relatively early TikTok. I like the use of color and fashion and the sheer fact that the guy is having a lot of fun. And that's quite a mess for one less-than-thirty-second video.

5. Boys Wear Tee-Shirts on Their Heads When They Play a Girl
So teenage boys on TikTok will don a tee-shirt on their head when they're playing a female role. It's sheer schlock. But a testament to the fact that no TikTok star has a wardrobe warehouse or access to MGM studios. Although, it is odd that teenage boys think a woman's hair is well represented by donning a tee on their head. Oh, girl!

6. Sissy That Walk!
If you can't get on the runway, girl you better werk. So does this amazing runway walk that is probably this TikToker's backyard. Sissy that walk!

7. The Five Minute Bathroom Break 
TikTok lends a view into working class jobs — fast food attendants, nail salonists, customer service representatives, and the lot. One thing network television cannot do — even though it has tried with shows like All in the Family and Roseanne — is replicate the experience of an everyday American's day at work. And often that means taking a five minute bathroom break and talking to the mirror. Period.

8. Right?!
I am not sure what to think of this video. Brilliant? Yes.

9. The Smiling Boy
This boy has created an entire fandom over the fact that he is a teenager who enjoys smiling.

10. The Histrionic School Lunch Lady Performance
Again put a piece of fabric on your head and all of a sudden you are a woman. And I wouldn't even call this drag. I call it histrionic performativity. And I didn't steal that from Judith Butler.

11. It's Got To Be the Sweater
It could be ironic that this guy is wearing a Playboy sweater. Right?! Multiple Tik-Toks are created by people, mostly teenagers, who are bored. And lots of TikTokers were born out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

12. The Best Comedian is Probably Your Neighbor, Mr. Pickles
Again — the beauty of TikTok is that it creates stars out of ordinary people. I love this guy's vulnerability and authenticity all packaged into a nice, yellowy-orangey color scheme.

11.4.21

A Paean to Payphones (And Why I Feel Nostalgic for Old School Telecommunication)

When is the last time you used a working payphone? How sure are you that you can find one if your mobile phone goes dead? Do you have a quarter in your pocket?

Payphone in New York City Subway Station
Found a working payphone in the
Times Square / 42nd Street Station in New York City

Nostalgia is dangerous. Start feeling nostalgia, and suddenly, everything in the present is suspect. "Oh, I remember the days when you had to call someone on a landline."

But I like it when old-school technology still persists. I don't want to return to using payphones. They are clunky (and who has change, anyway?). And just when the conversation gets good, you have to add another quarter to continue the call.

You can find a working payphone in a few subway stations, strip malls, maybe a gas station in Duluth?

I used a payphone recently. I cannot remember why. It was when I was traveling. My phone was dead. I think it was in an Amtrak station (which I feel like is where I would find a working payphone).

Ironically, the school where I work has a payphone in the main hallway. But it does not work. It just hangs there on the wall. Hundreds of people walk by it. Heck. I didn't even notice it until like two years working at the school. I think it will become an art installation. Soon.

Fun fact: Payphones still exist. And one in five of them are in New York City! The Federal Communications Commission still regulates payphones. They still maintain a tip guide for using them and not get scammed when using a calling card. Remember those?

When was the last time you used a payphone?

PDF Copy for Printing   

5.1.21

Storytime: Anthony’s First Day at Kindergarten

In this post, I retell a story of when I was in kindergarten and told my teacher I was named Anthony. 
On the first day of school in kindergarten. 
My teacher, Mrs. Rousell, does the roll call. “Susie, Anthony.” And, of course, my first name is Anthony, but I’ve always gone by Greig. So in a split second, I say, “Yeah, my name is Anthony. Don’t call me Greig.” So the rest of that week, the teacher says, “One plus one, Anthony, what’s one plus one?” I’m like looking around the room. Is she talking to me? I don’t answer her.

And then later on in the day, “Where’s your mat? Anthony, go get your mat for nap time.” I’m like, “What?! Is she talking to me?” I mean, this goes on for the entire week, and finally, on Friday, my mother comes barging into my room. 

“Anthony!”

I got in so much trouble, honey. Yes! My mama was like, “Why do you call that teacher and tell her that your name is Anthony? She says you have a hearing problem. Don’t you know that your ‘Greig’”? I mean, come on.

17.11.20

Video Repost: Teen Entrepreneurs Start Their Own Trash Bin Cleaning Service Called The Wash Broz

In this post, I advertise two teen entrepreneurs willing to be hired to wash your dirty trash bins to make them sparkle.
Two Dallas, Texas teens offer a unique and exciting service — cleaning your trash bins! They use the latest products and techniques to ensure that all of your bins sparkle. Contact them today at 972-674-0043 and follow their progress on Instagram @washbroz. Let these two entrepreneurs take care of your bin cleaning needs, so you don't have to!
Video Credit: @washbroz

5.11.20

Share Word Power With Students (Or, Watch a Frenetic Teacher Talk About Latin Roots)

In this quick post, I talk about how I teach the Latin root for "star" and how this root has permeated our language. Also, it is quite a rowdy lesson. Mainly because of me!
Word power-knowledge. I have way too much frenetic energy. And to think I was feeling vile about the proceedings of the day — until our Ninth Grade Writing class got my spirits up. After the first period today, I had thirty seconds, so Rajveer in Ninth Grade took this video of our discussion of the Latin root "aster-" or "astro-" (for star) and how it appears in the English words asteroid, asterisk, astronaut, disaster, and astronomy. Thanks to Ariadne for being the model student and Theo, Pema, Ryan, Mia, Luna, Lucas, and Ava for the inspiration. Tag, share, comment on, cast, or copy this video. It’s insane.
Teacher wears a mask in a classroom.
Mr. Roselli captures a selfie.

Foot on a desk
All in a day's work.

Aphrodite
Aphrodite as Depicted in Chalk on a Chalkboard

Athena
Athena with a shield.

Goddess
Just your garden variety love goddess.

12.1.19

Video Repost: Braden Gives His Bubblegum Book Report in Season One of the Mickey Mouse Club Reboot (circa 1990s)

I was never a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club reboot on the Disney Channel - mainly, because I am not sure if we had the Disney Channel in my house or not (I honestly cannot remember). However, I came upon this trite little gem - it's a cute little skit - and it reminds me of the innocence I recall from circa 1990s television craziness. I cannot put my finger on it - but television in the 1990s was just plain cotton candy madness. It was sweet - and totally unreeled from any kind of substantial aesthetic. I love how the above skit takes place on a stage with a live audience - kind of like how Nickelodeon did its shows back in the day - and a kind of tween version of Saturday Night Live. Now. I love how the girl gives her sterling report on Moby Dick. Great job. But why does she give an apple for the teacher - isn't that a bribe? And then comes Braden's report - one of the stars of the early reboot days of The Mickey Mouse Club. His report rings true for me - because I can remember a classmate pulled a similar stunt in a class once. He tried to give a class report on one of the elements of the periodic table and he passed out a brochure he had made with the name of the element printed on it - he was so proud of his ersatz report that I remember it still to this day. I guess it is the same for our man Braden. I would remember his report - and he gives it with such Americana teen bravado that I was surprised that the teacher was scowling. And in a kind of teen rebellion-cum-audience mob effect - the live action crowd is totally into it. Go Braden! A+

6.7.18

Advice on Friendship from Charlotte's Web

“The quickest way to spoil a friendship is to wake somebody up in the morning before he is ready.”

- Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

4.7.18

The American Holiday The Fourth of July (Alternatively, Independence Day)

On a hike in the New York Catskills, I came upon a mountain laurel (Kalmia Latifolia).
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia) I found
on a hiking trail in the Catskills.
As I sit on my tuffet (a hard, wooden chair I use as my writing chair), I raise a glass of ice-cold filtered water poured from a bonafide Brita dispenser, and make a few stray comments:
***
  • It is hot, and humid in New York City. I hope you have air-conditioning - if not, get yourself to a New York City cooling center.
  • I am thinking of setting off some fireworks in the middle of the street and yelling, "I am from Louisiana!"
  • Nationalism is deeply taught in this country so I find myself humming patriotic tunes and feeling nostalgic about the colors red, white, and blue.
  • Last year, I did stake out a spot in Sunset Park with my buddy Anthony Charles to watch the Macy's Fireworks display.
  • This year, supposedly, I could go to Long Island City - but I am thinking of just staying home and watching BBC adaptations of Terry Pratchett novels.

28.2.17

Adult/Teenager Banter in Manchester by the Sea

Production still from Manchester by the Sea (© 2016 Amazon Studios)
Nephew Patrick and Uncle Eddie squabble in Manchester by the Sea © 2016 Amazon Studios
I must admit one film that slipped by me was Manchester by the Sea - produced by Amazon Studios and a contender in the 2016 awards season. 

The movie is good and it has lots of witty examples of adult/teenager banter. I can see why it won an award at the Oscars for its writing.

Underneath the banter between Casey Affleck's character and his on-screen nephew, lies a serious and moving story. However, it's a hilarious movie even though it is about a man who is wracked with guilt over the accidental death of his three children and who is now faced with the prospect of raising his teenage nephew. For example, the conversations between Patrick, the nephew, who just lost his father, and his Uncle Eddie (Casey Affleck) are well-written and funny. A recurring string of dialogue is the nephew's hilarious pointed questions that undermine his Uncle's crotchety humanism - and poke fun at his complete lack of social aplomb. 

At one point a stranger overhears the two arguing. He says something critical - like, "Good parenting," and Uncle Eddie - as he does throughout this movie when he perceives a slight to his character - goes ballistic and Patrick tries to defuse the situation and then, hilariously, whips around and says "Uncle Eddie, are you fundamentally unsound?" and, later, "Are you brain damaged?"

Here is another funny exchange - but this time it is Uncle Eddie. He tells Patrick that "if you're going to freak out every time that you see a frozen chicken I think we should go to the hospital."
#funny

26.8.16

Theater of the Absurd Charlie Rose Style

Charlie Rose supercut
In 2013 I saw this video at an exhibition on supercuts at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens  adjacent to the old style Astoria film studios where Law and Order and Sesame Street have been brought to life.
Anyway. A supercut is a kind of new media -- someone gets an idea like "What if I cut out everything in news media clippings of Donald Trump speaking except for when he utters "China"? You get the idea. Or a supercut of just blah blah blahs from across cinematic history. I posted that one on this blog. I must be obsessed with supercuts. I have wanted to create my own but never had the tenacity nor have I yet lighted upon a good idea.

This supercut from the Charlie Rose show was imagined as "if written by Samuel Beckett." By just paring down an episode on technology to a few buzzwords and phrases the creator has managed to create a nonsensical interview with Charlie Rose and himself. Here it is.

True story: I now utter "Google" nonsensically in public places. Thank you very much.

"Charlie Rose" by Samuel Beckett from Andrew Filippone Jr. on Vimeo.

20.7.15

L is for "Lying Prone on the Floor at Manhattan Mini Storage"

Greig Roselli fishes out a key with a rule from under the locked door of a storage locker..
Looking like a bible salesman 
who lost the key to his storage locker, 
I lie prone on the floor of the Manhattan Min-Storage.
How I was locked out of a storage locker and fished out the key with a ruler:

Lisa told me to ferret the key out with a flat ruler. It didn't work! And we needed to get in! Can you tell I'm opening this post like the beginning of a badly written situation comedy?

Feeling like a cartoon character, I got prone on the floor vainly fishing out the key to our storage locker. Am I a bible salesman trying to get my Gideon bibles? Or maybe I'm a bootlegger and this maximum-security storage locker holds my gin. Or maybe it's a year's worth of three-hundred-paged-glossy-covered coupon books —those artless tomes filled with fifty percent discounts for edible arrangements and vacation cruises. Mostly sold by high schoolers raising money for track and field. Or some other kind of extra-curricular activity.

5.4.14

Jesus Was A Slacker

Jesus was not considered Dean's List material in his home country of Palestine. He irked the professors of his day with his youthful sarcasm and basically failed his exam and was kicked out of the synagogue (Luke 4:28-29). He picked up the pieces and eventually became known as a great orator  giving first-rate parables only a Literature professor could love. That's courage.
image source: funny jesus

1.4.14

Why the Scarecrow is Boss (Even Though He Doesn't Have a Brain)

Did you know that in the original Oz books, the Scarecrow is named the ruler of Oz?

How Can You Talk If You Haven't A Brain?
In the original novels by L. Frank Baum, even though the Scarecrow lacks a brain, he is named Ruler of Oz! Take that Dorothy, and your little dog too. In the classic 1939 MGM movie he gets an honorary degree from the Wizard, and in the 1978 Michael Jackson version, his genius is in the song “You Can’t Win” where he reminds us “to refuel our brains.” I love a guy with no brains.
image source (GIF): pandawhale

11.2.14

Photograph: "Talking Out Loud"

South Brooklyn, Winter 2014

I am from South Louisiana, so, growing up, I did not have much experience with snowfall. If and when it did snow, the flakes came down in softy, dramatic drops. I remember the front yard of our house blanketed in a thin layer of papery whiteness, almost as if mother nature had covered the earth with a spider-web of flakes. So — living in the northeast, I become a bit giddy during a decent snowfall. Donning a winter coat, and a cap (I seldom wear gloves unless it is bitterly cold), I take long walks. South Brooklyn has a park — Sunset Park — and it is the closest patch of green space near my apartment. I talk out loud, thinking through ideas. When I am in a rut, I have to take a walk. Otherwise, I will just sit in a stew. This "stuckness" mostly alights when I have to plan a lesson or do something creative with a deadline attached. So off I go to perambulate so I can come back home and get down to business.