Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three truths and a lie

There is an ice breaker called "three truths and lie" that I have played countless times in various leadership retreats, sleep away camps, staff training, and other similar events warranting a group get-to-know you event with generally amiable people. Of all the ice breakers out there, three truths and a lie is one I love to hate. I hate trying to come up with things both outlandish and awesome but I love hearing what crazy things other people come up with. I always want to be the one that stumps everyone but inevitably I am the easiest to call.

If you've never played, here's how it works. In a group of newly acquainted people, each person takes a turn telling four "facts" about themselves. One fact is supposed to be a lie and the other three completely true. The group then tries to guess which outlandish fact is a lie.

In honor of my contract being up this week, I bring you three truths and a lie about my job this year. Your task is to guess which anecdote about the last 20 work weeks is a lie. Even if you know me in real life, feel free to play along. I've saved up some of my stories for this game. Of course, everything on my blog is made up anyways, but, you know. Play along.

1) One time I made an entire first grade class practice walking from the door to the stage and back again over and over until they could do it without running and screaming and jumping and being completely physically out of control. We walked with the whole class. The boys watched the girls walk. The girls watched the boys walk. We counted off and the 1s watched the 2s and then the 2s watched the 1s. It took 10 minutes of a 30 minute class. I never had management issues with that class again. I am a mean teacher. Probably the meanest they've ever had.

2) Sometimes we have assemblies scheduled in the MPR when I am supposed to be teaching music. Usually I reschedule my music classes and then do prep work in the lounge or else go to the assembly. On one particular occasion, we had a chamber orchestra scheduled to come so I made sure to be in the MPR. However, they were late. My principal said to me "well, we might need you to do something with these guys" and I said seriously "sure, we can practice our finale song." She stared at me like I had said "sure, I'll cut off my hand." I think her jaw dropped to floor. Finally she said "you would really do that with no notice? you would just stand up here and practice with all of these guys all at once without any notice at all?" and I said "of course, isn't that what you just suggested? besides, what else are we gonna do?" and she said "well..." and so I said "I think you underestimate me. I am very willing to try things and I'm not shy. If we have time, I'll jump on that stage and go for it." My principal was still staring at me like she'd never seen me before when the chamber orchestra walked in. 

3) One time I played a game where I made everyone sing a different song, such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "The Farmer in The Dell." Students were told to either keep singing the song they were assigned or, if convinced via singing, sing what someone else was singing. The idea was that in the end, the whole class would come down to two or three groups competing for singers. This was, believe it or not, a game from a book of lesson ideas I found in my music closet and one of the worst ideas I have ever had. The game got so loud my principal came into the MPR to check on us. I poured my rainstick (my quiet signal) and the class was instantly quiet. I was mortified that the principal came over. The principal was shocked that I went from loud to silent in two pours. Needless to say I never played that game again, but I heart my rainstick. 

4) Early in the year I did a few lessons that required kids to use pencil/paper. I handed one kid a pencil and he growled at me. Apparently I was supposed to hand him a pen. All of the other kids in his class quickly explained that he only uses pens. It's "his deal". The growling child squatted down and started hopping around. Apparently this is some kind of anime inspired game they play on the playground. Can I just say that if you ever have this happen like I did, you will feel like your classes on full inclusion special ed were a complete waste of time because no one helped you think of what to do when a kid growls and hops around on his knees because you didn't give him a pen instead of a pencil. After class I told him he had to bring his own pen. And I told his teacher that the next time she brings her class to a new teacher, she needs to give a fair warning that one of her students has a propensity for growling and hopping when not given the proper writing apparatus. She told me she had no idea what I was talking about and she had no such student. 

Well, there you have it! Four things that may or may not have happened this year. How'd I do coming up with things both outlandish and awesome? Anyone want to take a guess at what the lie is?


  1. Tricky. I actually think all 4 of these are plausible. So I shall overanalyze:

    1) Outlandish, yet deceptively simple, and something I wouldn't put past an elementary teacher from doing.

    2) Questionable. First, while I love the idea of a chamber orchestra performing at an elementary school, I don't buy it. The dialogue is a bit too descriptive, though the behavior is consistent with what I would expect based on previous recounts. Plus, as precocious as Mrs. Awesome can be, I don't see her saying that kind of stuff to the principal.

    3) Credible. This is exactly the type of game an elem music teacher would try, and the chaos that ensued is spot on. The rainstick solution is also credible. This one must be true.

    4) This is the most absurd of all of them, which is why I know it must be true. Perhaps some artistic license was employed in the telling of the story, but almost certainly legit.

    HOWEVER, Mrs. Awesome would expect me to overanalyze this, and therefore would employ reverse-psychology and I must reverse the reversion. Hence, I choose #3 as the lie, solely because it's the one I'm most certain is the truth.

  2. I think 1 and 3 and the most plausible. 2 and 4 seem a little questionable. I know some kids like to push boundaries with new teachers, so I can see 4 being true. I pick 2 as the lie.
    But, I'm always wrong in this game. And when I play, everyone always picks my lie really quickly too.

  3. i think they are all completely plausible! so i really have no idea =)

  4. #1 So true, and I didn't have to read it twice, or think about it. It screams: 'nip it in the bud'.
    #2 Had to google MPR, and the story sounds plausible because nothing is scarier than teaching children
    #3 Sounds fun
    #4 Crazy and therefore true

    I surmise it is #3. A local radio station plays this game, every morning, and I guess wrong most of the time but I surmise it is #3.