The Scarlet Letter.

After accidentally writing on his own hand, a student asked me the following question:

“Mister Karabekian, is it true that permanent marker never comes off your skin, for the rest of your life?”

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29 thoughts on “The Scarlet Letter.

  1. Mr.Karabekian,
    I feel for you and while I can laugh at the foibles of your students I find it disturbing that these children are just that unprepared for school. What are the factors that contribute to this?

    My own children and their classmates do not seem to be having these sorts of problems and they deride the educational quality of the school system they attend. I think that I will have them read some of your incidents so that they have a little more perspective on the matter.

    Sincerely,
    Joseph Paul

    • I believe that it all stems from the administration of my school. They require and expect very little from the students. I mean, the high school students still have 45 minutes of recess everyday, and we teachers are not permitted to assign more than one hour of homework per night. The headmaster/founder has experience running a child care type place only, and she seems to have brought all of those ideals into the middle/high school setting, where it certainly does not work. Thank you for your insightful comment, I appreciate it.

  2. My dad forwarded me the link to your blog, and it’s both hilarious and very, very sad. I’ve been going through the same thing, only it’s with my classmates, and in a college setting. I’m in an online class, so I copy-and-paste all the gems on my Facebook page – one of the most recent was:

    On taking out student loans:”Yes, their is a down side of paying after we have gotten the education, I just think it is worth the wait and the sacrifice to better ourselfs. In the long run, money comes and go’s, but knowledge is for ever.”

    So, no, irony is not dead. And, yes, I very much feel your pain.

    • That sentence made me cringe, and yet I am not surprised. I fully expect, as sad as it makes me, that many of my students will go to college despite their limited work ethics. I knew someone who asked me to proofread her college entrance exam, which was meant to be two pages long. This person’s essay was one rambling paragraph, rife with run on sentences and fragments. Also, it had the vocabulary of a small pure-bred puppy. This person now attends a university in New York City, and receives scholarship money.

  3. I’m an emergency room nurse and I thought heard stupid things. Your blog is painful to read. How does your forehead feel from banging your head on the desk?

  4. Why doesn’t every post have at least one comment?? These are ALL hilarious! I’m glad I found this site via Huff Post. I am convinced that kids are getting exponentially dumber and dumber. And I don’t think it’s the teachers fault, it starts at HOME!

    • Thank you! I certainly like to believe that it isn’t my fault. Parents and administrators have often told me that I am by far the best teacher in the school. In fact, over 90% of my students have made gains in their state standard assessments after being in my class. Again, thanks for reading!

  5. Mr. Karabekian, I hope that this is not your real name and that there is no way for your students to identify themselves or each other contextually from your blog.

  6. I am proud to say that my children (now young adults) have excellent grammar and an extensive vocabulary. When they bother to use it. If they ever are called on to make a speech for some difficult-to-imagine future professional career, they will deliver it with style, wit and charm. That and five bucks will get you a grande half-caf latte at Starbucks.

  7. I’m a 13 year-old boy who goes to a private, Evangelical Christian school. Though the education is good, I still can barely contain myself as my classmates use the word “like” every other word. It drives me insane. I’ll count the likes, umms, and uhhs when people are presenting or speaking in front of the class, and I’ll easily exceed 50 in a single 3-minute speech. Sometimes, I start breaking out in insane, uncontrollable laughter. I want to put a gun to my head and blow my brains out. There are way too many kids that have absolutely atrocious spelling and grammar habits. It is mind-boggling.
    Though not as bad as what I’ve seen so far, it has to stop. Kids need to be better educated in spelling and grammar.
    It’s a joke.

    Thanks you for making me laugh at such scary things. It takes skill to make someone laugh at such sheer, scary stupidity.

    – Reilly

  8. I sincerely agree that the poor quality of education that some children CHOOSE to receive is not the teachers’ fault. I prepare to teach my classes everyday, and I teach my students well. I sincerely love what I do, and I cannot imagine doing anything else. Unfortunately, a lot of students who struggle (for whatever reasons) find the whole educational experience to be jejune, and they cannot see the benefit of studying or working hard. Maybe it’s because a lot of young people are given everything that they want without truly working for it. I don’t know. It’s scary and heartbreaking. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

    Thank you for your writings.

    • I do my best to teach my students, but I cannot control what they have been taught prior to entering my classroom. Also, like you said, we cannot control how the students choose to respond to a learning environment. If they simply refuse to do homework and classwork, and the parents are unwilling to communicate with the teachers to help, what are we left with? Thank you for your comment!

  9. i guess we all should help to improve your students instead laugh of them.. If they were your children you would post this site too? Yeah..the foolishness sometimes is funny.. but what we all must to do is try to defeat it..I’ve always thought when a father/teacher talks badly about their own sons/students , he’s talking BAD about himself!
    p.s my english is not good enough..am not american and i hope you dont make a fun of me :)

    • As I’ve said, I try my absolute best to teach them, but there is a limit to what I can do. I can teach them the things that I am qualified to teach, but I cannot teach the kids how to think, that is something that they learn from a much younger age. You’ll notice that I rarely talk badly about the way they work in my class, concerning work ethic and so on. What I do post about are examples of a sheer lack of common sense, and the responses my students come up with when they are trying to avoid doing their work. I would guess that close to 100% of the students I have written and will write about have parents who do not worry about their education. In fact, I have called some parents to discuss the progress of their children, and they have told me that they are too busy to discuss that.

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