Blog Your Blessings: Harold the Pimp

"What is a pimp?" I asked my student who had begun a round-robin story with a sentence about a pimp in a purple suit heading to the mall to buy a matching hat.

"A pimp?" my student grinned, rubbing his neck, pulling on the back of his sneaker, and shaking his head.

"Pimp." I said.

"A pimp is a guy with a hooker business. You know that," the skinny blond across the room said.

"Yes; a pimp is a person," I said. "What part of speech is that?"

"A noun," one of the bright lights flashed. "A pimp is a noun."

"What is our pimp doing?"

"He's walking. The verb is walking...."

This was the slow beginning to what became a lively lesson on sentence revision. (It's a wonder I have a job at all.)

My students wrote a round-robin story last week in which a pimp in a purple suit kills a pimp in a green suit because 1. the green guy owes the purple guy money and 2. the purple guy can't get over how ugly the green suit is. Twenty-two college freshman wannabes concocted a string of sentences and fragments that take this pimp on a short journey that includes a stop in a car to snort some coke, a trip to a Barney museum, a ride in a tow-truck, a chase, two murders, and no regrets.

With a lot of work, they brought this story to life. Along the way, they resolved logic errors, eliminated unnecessary information, and added information as they damn well felt like it because it was fun.

The story had begun as a test for me: Would I accept work that discussed pimps or would I get school-marmy and make them change it to some respectable form of entrepreneur? I decided to go with what they wrote.

It seemed to me the greater question was, would I accept them where they are? The answer was yes, so the only thing left to do was to bring them to a world of complete thoughts.

The blessing: they respected me back and didn't get too crazy. I still have a job.

We have named our pimp Harold. He is the fellow with the purple crayon all grown up and on the wrong side of the tracks doing his pimp thing because along the way something went terribly wrong. It happens.

"Did Harold ever draw his parents into his world?" asked one of my students when we got through this assignment.

Good question. Do you know?

Blog Your Blessings


  1. I've read some Harold books and I can't ever remember seeing his parents. Good question.

    I think you are an example of a great teacher- you have to teach the kids with what is interesting to them. Have you ever seen Mr. Hollands Opus? This post reminded me of that because he used rock music to get the kids to enjoy learning about music even though that was a big no-no at the time.

  2. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Great lesson.

  3. It would have been my luck to have the principal walk in right when somebody started talking about coke... You are a brave person, on top of being a great teacher.

  4. Awesome story Sandy, and yes you are brave for allowing the story to go on. :)

  5. A very interesting story! Thank you for sharing it... and it's good to see your blessing and mine kinda match!

  6. Hi Sandy, the post is great, nice episode.

    I have taken your advice and have posted some pictures of the doll arrangement of this year's doll festival which is going on in Mysore. In my next post I will post the pics of doll arrangement at my home. Bye.

  7. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I so wish there were more teachers like you. Your class and school are blessed by your skills.

    Very brave to let them flow with their subject matter - which they could obviously relate to in some form.

    Happy BYB Sunday and have a great week.

  8. Yes, I understand the blessing in your lesson and I am glad you didn't let the "shock value" deter you from teaching.

    My blessing is finally posted also.

  9. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Wow. I wish there had been more teachers like you when I was in school. What a great lesson.

  10. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Great story. You have to teach what is meaningful to the students. If you do not engage their interest, you are wasting your time and their time. I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in that class!

  11. Good lesson from a great teacher.

    Enjoy the week!

  12. Anonymous3:47 AM

    an interesting lesson u conduct.

  13. :) If only we learn to accept others for who they are and accept ourselves for who we are...

  14. The role of "teacher" one to be cherished.



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