Three 4th grade boys amuse me with their antics every weekday morning from 8:45 to 9:30. Today I told them that their reading progress showed that they could move to the next level soon, but I needed them to focus and calm down—aka sit still and stop distracting each other from their reading. (Terrible to have to tell nine-year-old boys to sit still and stop their rocket noises, but all in all I am less an authority figure more an older comrade letting them get away with most everything. I work with some awesome kids.)
The idea of moving up a level immediately translated to computer game talk in their brains.
Boy 1: You mean like [technical term], [technical term], Boss, [technical term] level?
Me: Come again?
Boy 1: (Repeats everything he just said.)
Me: OK, I have no idea what you are saying.
Boy 1 to Boy 3: (Boy 2 is mostly quiet, except when 1 and 3 draw him out of his shell with their infectious peer-pressure charm) Remember when we played [name of computer game] and we got to upgrade [technical term]?
Boy 3: (Let's just say he spoke the same language.)
Then Boy 3 turns to me and says: Can I upgrade this pencil to a pen?
Me: No ( I laugh)
For the next few minutes I tolerated a pencil being used as a lightsaber, a calculator being used to calculate 99,000, and our book being used very little. Then it was time for them to go back to class. I doled out the prize suckers to the two boys who did all their at-home reading for the week and then watched them wait in line with the other kids and try to accept two additional suckers from my co-worker, who didn't realize that my kids already had their candy.
Um, [Boy 1 and Boy 2] have candy, I called out. They grinned sheepishly.
Well, I think I'll go hang out with my husband. He's downstairs watching "Phineas and Ferb" cartoons and imagining if he, too, can build a rollercoaster in his backyard.