Dear Neckromancer: Things We Did to (Annoy Teachers) Amuse Ourselves

Dear neckromancer,

We were in school when the typhoon came. Classes were suspended and I had to wait a long time for my sundo that my PSP’s battery died. I couldn’t text because there was no signal. I couldn’t let my notebook get wet from the leaking ceiling, too.  I wonder, how did students from your time amuse themselves?

curiously loquacious

***

Dear CL,

When the teachers made us copy the notes in the blackboard or from our own books, were called to meetings, or otherwise occupied, we students had to be inventive. To illustrate, I made a list with instructions, so you could duplicate them for educational purposes.

  1. SOS: This is a variant of tictactoe played on the last pages of one’s paper notebook. The page is filled with a grid (math notebooks are the best) and players take turns filling out the squares with either an S or O. The goal is to not let your opponent make more SOS than you. So it’s actually less like tictactoe and more like Connect Four. There is no actual score kept, and the game is stupidly simple it merits no bragging rights.
  2. Poetry, or what passes for it: A piece of paper is folded in half once, twice, and another time. It is then filled with sayings, comics strips, and doggerel like, “roses are red, violets are blue; God made me handsome, what happened to you?” These minibooks get passed around like illegal software to solicit chuckles from the class.
  3. Text: Before there were cellphones, we invented short message service. A class monitor would list down talkative “noisy” students, who were charged a peso for every sentence out of hand (not related to the discussion).  So resourceful classmates learned sign language by the letter and talked to each other by flashing hands when the teachers looked away. Despite this system, we didn’t invent jejemon or sexting.
  4. Counting Teachers’ Mannerisms: I think you still do this. This makes the student look attentive and provides the necessary bragging rights.

From a former teacher himself, Happy Teachers’ Day to teachers everywhere!


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