Today was a typical work day. Turn on computer. Straighten rows. Read e-mails. Grade papers. Begin teaching. Typical until my second class. This class has been learning words associated with clothes and shopping. Since they won't study on their own, we play lots of games to help them learn. We played pictionary today. K was trying to get her team to guess the word "cuero", leather. She drew everything imaginable to no avail. She finally gave up and sat down. Her team asked what word she was trying to draw and she said "cuero". Here is the jist of the conversation that followed:
Team: What is that squiggly thing in the corner suppose to be?"
K: A spider web.
Me: Why did you draw a spider web? Why didn't you draw a cow?
K: Why would I draw a cow?
Me and class: Because that's where leather comes from!
K: No it doesn't. Spiders make leather.
At this point the class was howling with laughter and totally incredulous about K's statement...so was I! I asked her what she thought her boots were made of and she said "hide". "Well" I said, "that's where leather comes from. Cow hide." It took a while to convince her that spiders don't make leather.
You think I'm making this up. I'm not. I would understand her not knowing how leather is made if we lived in New York City. This is East Texas for heaven's sake!! K is a member of the FFA! She is surrounded by ranchers!!!! She is not alone in her thinking though. When I related this story to my 6th period class there were others who didn't know that the majority of leather comes from cows. At least they knew that leather is not made by spiders. I never would have imagined it.