Student Quotables… Volume IV | School’s Out Edition

The school year that has lasted seemingly forever has finally come to a close… But not without a few more quotables to last us through these summer months. Some of y’all who follow me know by now that in addition to being a musician, I also teach music to high schoolers and duh-raaaaah…. They have been known to say some pretty unbelievable things… (see: Student Quotables… Vol. 1Student Quotables… Vol. II, and Student Quotables… Vol. III). To celebrate the ending of this school year, I will supply you with a few more quotables from the final semester… Enjoy!

• “What Time Is It?!?!” © Mo’iss Day

Student: “We’ve got time, there’s 20 minutes left in class”

Me: *Looks at the analog clock, which says 12:30* “Nah man, we have 10 minutes left… You know by now that class gets out at 12:40.”

S: “Ohhhh, yeah.. .I thought there were 10 minutes between each number on the clock.”

• Student answers her cell phone in the middle of class and gets off quickly after being asked repeatedly to hang up…

Me: “Why would you even consider answering the phone in class as an option?!”

Student: “My friend said it’s an emergency!”

M: “How would you know it’s an emergency BEFORE you picked up the phone?”

S: “She texted me first…. I HAD to pick it up because she doesn’t spell too well.”

• The day was Friday, and my student was attempting to argue me down by saying that Wednesday was THREE days ago rather than two…

“Mr. Ferguson… It’s THREE days ago!  

*counts on fingers* 

Friday is ONE, Thursday is TWO, and Wednesday is THREE. Wednesday was THREE DAYS AGO!”

I literally had to walk him to the calendar and count the days back to Wednesday to illustrate why he was incorrect.

• One morning, a ‘Temptations’ movie vs. ‘The Five Heartbeats’ discussion started with my class in regards to which one they enjoyed more…

Student: “I don’t like the ‘Temptations’ movie… It’s dumb. ‘The Five Heartbeats’ is better…”

Me: “You don’t like it at ALL? Well, tell me why you think ‘The Five Heartbeats’ is a better movie?”

S: “Because it has a better story… AND it has better graphics”

M: “Better……… It’s…. not…… a…… video…… game….. though…”

S: “But the ‘Temptations’ movie is in black and white and that’s stupid…”

M: “…….The first TWO minutes of the movie is in black and white! The rest is in color…”

• I had on an “Activision” t-shirt one day with their logo from the 80’s on the front of it…

Student: “Mr. Ferguson, you’re not gay…”

Me: “What are you even TALKING about?!”

S: *Points at the small rainbow part of the logo*

M: “That’s Activision, do you know what it is?”

S: “Yeah…. It’s a television”

M: “No, it’s a company that used to put out video games for Atari… an old game system.”

S: “Oh, well…. I was close then”

• One of my students had a grand epiphany in the classroom when he looked up and saw Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album hanging up on my wall…

Student: “Stevie Wonder is BLIND?!?!”


Me: “Class?…. Uhhhhhhruuhhhh…. Is Stevie Wonder blind?”

Class, in unison: “YEAH!!!”

• I got into a conversation with a student about how I got interested in music and why I teach the music that I do to my classes…

Me: “I teach y’all music that you’re familiar with, as opposed to say uhh….. Mozart.”

Student: “Ohhhh……. That’s a website?”

• For my Tech Heads…

Student: “My teacher told me that there wasn’t any technology before 1996… She said that there weren’t any color TVs before 1996 either…”

Me: “PLEASE sit down to read and research BEFORE talking crazy…”

(9th grade student): 

“Get offa there and stop tryna fix that computer, you ain’t no technique!!”

• In showing my class the movie “The Last Dragon,’ I received these questions…

Student: “Is that Nick Cannon?!”

Me: “Is WHO Nick Cannon?!”

S: *Points to Taimak who plays ‘Bruce Leroy’* “Him!”

M: “You do realize that this movie was released in 1985 and Nick Cannon was BORN in the 80’s, don’t you?”

S: “Oh.”

Another Student: *Points at Leo O’Brien who plays ‘Richie Green’, Bruce Leroy’s little brother* “Ain’t that the midget?!…. The midget who died?!”

Me: *Running through my mental Wikipedia files… and mouthing the words, “Midget? Who died?”*  ….”Wait a minute, are you talking about Gary Coleman?!??!!”

AS: “Yeah…”

M: *puzzled* “NO. That. Is. Not. Gary. Coleman.”

The movie got to the part where DeBarge’s “Rhythm Of the Night” video came on… El DeBarge is on the screen singing the first verse…

Student: “Oooh, there go Michael Jackson!!”

• Rules?…. What rules??

Me: “So…. Why did you get suspended for so long?”

Student: “Because I brought a knife to school”

M: “Maaaaan, COME on!! What did you do THAT for?!”

S: “I didn’t know it was against the rules…”

M: *blank stare*

• Geography For $500, Alex…

Student: “Have you ever been out of the country on vacation?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve been to Aruba, which is an island just north of Venezuela…”

S: *Puzzled look*

M: “Venezuela……… It’s a country in South America”

S: “Wait, South America and Africa are the same, right?”

M: *Exaggerated screwface* “NO!! They’re two different CONTINENTS located in two totally separate parts of the world!!”

S: “So you’re telling me that South America and Africa are TWO different places?!!?”

• In reaction to PBS’s website being hacked back in May…

Student: “Don’t you watch the NEWS Mr. Ferguson?! It was breaking news that 2Pac is still alive!!”

• Astrology

Student: “Mr. Ferguson, you hear about the changes they made to the horo… hor….. horophoric?” (she was attempting to say “horoscope”)

• Random

Teacher: “What is a thesaurus?” 

Student (10th grade): “A telescope.”

• An Old Favorite

During a school assembly, one of the students stood in front of the the high school students and staff to give a presentation. After asking a question to the audience and not really receiving a response, it turned into him ‘taunting’ his peers, which then in the same breath turned hilarious…

Student: “Man, I thought y’all were smart. Wait, y’all supposed to be smart right?!…. I mean…. Where the smarts come out at?!!?”

Educators, enjoy your summer breaks… Lord knows we deserve it. ‘Til next time, school a child… THEY. NEED. IT….

Student Quotables… Volume III

And now for the THIRD installment of the infamous…!! A great sense of humor and teaching go hand in hand…

Click to read

• On Religion:

After telling us that his father is of Jamaican heritage and has successfully run from Jamaica to Africa… to Europe, one of the 10th graders informed us that, “…all Jamaicans worship JAHeim.”

• First Plane Ride:

“I’ve been on a plane before… I flew to Denver and THEN to Colorado!”

• Future Nutritionist?

Student leans in to tell a teacher during lunch time,

“You know you should eat a lot of bananas, because they’re high in potabolism.”


Student: “You’re from Detroit?… So you know how to steal cars real well?”

Me: “And WHY would you say THAT?”

S: “They made that movie about y’all, you know the movie about stealing cars?”

M: *thinking for a minute* “Hold up… You mean ‘New Jersey DRIVE’?!?!!!”


M: “But uhhh….. THAT movie took place in NEW JERSEY, NOT DETROIT, MICHIGAN”

S: *mouth slowly opens to form the word* “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

• One of my 1st period students saw somebody with a mullet and said,

“Daaaaamn, he got a musket!!”

On Race and Pasta:

Student: “Well, Black people eat pork chops, Mexicans eat black beans, Italians eat pasta, and white people eat spaghetti.”

Teacher: *puzzled look* “But spaghetti and pasta are the same thing.”

S: “No their not… spaghetti is noodles.”

T: “So what’s pasta then?”

S: “Alfredo.”

Movie Time:

• I was showing the classic movie Wild Style to my students and one of the kids made the comment:

“Maaan, I didn’t even think they HAD white people in New York in the 80’s…”

• Showed the documentary Planet B-Boy to my classes one week, which showcased an international breakdancing competition…

Student: “They don’t have an American team in the competition?” 

Me: “They do, the American team is out of Las Vegas.” 

S: “So they don’t speak English?”

Student Quotables… Volume II

This is a continuation from the FIRST installment of student quotables… Just keep in mind, I can NOT make any of this up. Enjoy!

• One of the so-called tough persona students decided to get himself caught up in a situation where he was looking at catching an assault charge. While being questioned by the police in regards to naming who did it, he responds with the classic line…

“Now I ain’t no SNITCH… But uhhh…… All I’m sayin is……. Tony did it.”  I love it…

• After getting a “Soldier” tattoo on his forearm that was spelled “S-O-I-L-D-E-R,” one of the students defended himself with…

“That’s how we spell it in the STREETS!”

• Cultural Awareness…
“Maaan, you can’t be out here stealing, you’ve gotta get a job! Don’t you know it’s a reception out here?!”

• Music Appreciation… (directed to me)
“Man, you always playing the classics! Why don’t you play something new like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club?” …Word? This same kid told me that John Legend was old school… *shrug*

• On Tupac
“2Pac is still alive! I just saw him in a picture with Rihanna!”

• Geography Lesson
A student of mine walked into class with a pendant of Africa around his neck. He was not expecting me to quiz him about the continent. First, he told me that Africa was a “state”, to which I responded, “So who’s the governor of Africa then?”

After explaining to the boy that Africa was a continent and not a state, I asked him to name just ONE country in Africa… He responded with, “Peru”

Teacher: “If one side of the Earth is light, what is the other side?”
Student: “Heavy”

Teacher: “How many minutes are in a half hour?”
Student: “15”
Teacher: “So how many minutes are in an hour then?”
Student: “5?”

Student Quotables…

I think that by now, a lotta y’all know that I’m a Music educator at a charter school in Washington D.C. Honestly, if you are lacking in the sense of humor department, you won’t last as a teacher at this school… or ANY school for that matter. So with that being said, allow me to introduce you to some of my students and their special ‘quotable’ moments… They are always saying something crazy… or memorable, I should say. These joints are coming off of the top of my head, so I’ll be sure to keep this going with a part two sometime soon. Step into my life for a minute…lol

• On November 5th, 2008, the day after President Obama’s victory on Election Day…
Student: Mr Ferguson, you hear that Obama is gonna be President?”
Me: “Yeah, I believe I heard something to that effect”
Student: “That means we ain’t gotta deal with no more white muhfuckas no more!”

• Student sees paper pinned on the wall under “Honorable Mention” (where I normally put papers that receive a “B” grade)…
Student: “Mr. Ferguson, you terrible”
Me: “Huh? Why do you say that?”
Student: “You put my paper under ‘Horrible Mention'”

• The Grand Epiphany
Student: “Mr. Ferguson, I just realized last week that ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ was about Tina Turner and her husband Ike”

• I showed one of my classes the movie ‘Ray’ and the part came up where they showed Ray (Jamie Foxx) and his wife holding their first born child…
Student: “Mr. Ferguson, is that (the real) Ray Charles’ baby or Jamie Foxx’s?”

• Noticing the way that one of the students was rubbing off negatively on the other students, on staff member said, “That boy is a CANCER.” The student overheard what she said and responded, “I ain’t no cancer… I’m a Capricorn!”

• During bus dismissal…
Teacher: “Excuse me, do you ride bus two fifty-eight?”
Student turns around with a neck and eyeroll… “NO.. I ride bus two-FIVE-eight!”

• Payment plan?
Student: “I’ma sell enough weed to pay for my college intuition”

• One of the little 9th grade kids came up requesting his internship check in ‘all ones’
Teacher: “Now, why do you want it in all ones?”
Student: *In his high-pitched voice, while throwing both hands in the air over his head* “So I can make it raaaaaaain on them bitchesssss”

• A student was looking for a staff member and finally found them and said:
Student: “Where you was at to be fount?”
Teachers: “HUH?! What did you say??!”
Student: “Ohhhhh… My bad. Where you was at to be foouuunnddd-DAH”