About a month ago, I taught a lesson on figurative language. One of the assignments was to take a figure of speech, like "it's raining cats and dogs", and draw a picture of both the literal and figurative meaning. The students drew some magnificent things including "the roar of the ocean" (a wave growling) and "giving someone a hand" (an anime depiction of the grim reaper giving a bloody stump of a hand to Yu-Gi-Oh). Still, many of them kept getting confused as to which example was figurative and which was literal. "Who knows what literal means?" I ask. "That it's real?" someone offered. "But not always," someone else said. At this point, I started to realize the problem. In today's vernacular, people throw around the word "literally" when they clearly do not mean literally. I offer up my sibling as an example, who says things like, "I could literally die." Well, no, she couldn't literally die, but she says that for emphasis, even though that's not how the word should be used. I told them that you should use "literally" only when it seems like what is being said might be an exaggeration, but you want to indicate that it really happened that way. They seemed to understand, and I'm glad to have kicked forty-five students of this nonsensical word usage as it is a pet peeve of mine. Proudly, I said, "So we all know to be literal with 'literally,' right?" I laugh aloud at my own joke, though no one else does. Maybe they still don't understand what literal means. Or maybe I'm just not funny.

Later in the afternoon, I went to a job interview. It went horribly. Well, I mean, I handled the questions well, but the school is not a good match for me. First of all, it's a junior high, and I'd prefer a high school, but I agreed to consider it because of this magnet school's rigorous academic reputation. The principal informed me of the school's stance of academics coming first, with "fun" coming fourth or fifth. The structure of my classroom would offer me no flexibility in what I teach, I would be told what to do each day. Plus, the facilities looked like a prison - I must clarify that while many schools are being compared to prisons lately, this one definitely fits the bill.

Finally leaving the interview, I reached my car and twice muttered aloud to myself, "That literally sucked balls." That's when I caught myself: there was no literal ball sucking seeing as I was too disinterested in the position to stoop to that level. I can't even teach myself a lesson successfully.

I am literally the most uneducated teacher I know.

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