I substituted for my master teacher, which meant that I got to cover his AVID classes. That’ll look good on the resume.

Even better than that: Fridays are Fun Fridays, where AVID-ites play games and have quick little bonding activities. Today, it was a simple game of 20 Questions, but we play the Famous Person Edition. Obscure figures need not apply.

I went first, and guessed correctly — on the dramatic 20th question, no less — that I was Jennifer Lopez. As a courtesy, I got to choose the next famous person, and as a history teacher who just started the totalitarianism unit, I had one man on my mind.

With the guesser facing the rest of the class, I wrote Adolf Hitler on the whiteboard. The class — all nine of them — groaned.

Worried by the groaning, he asked if he knew the person. They told him that he had better know this person. Some of the following questions amused me.

Am I a cartoon character?

Am I a superhero?

Did I make movies?

Hitler has been a cartoon character, he fancied himself an Übermensch and he was in a few movies. However, saying so for the purpose of 20 Questions, whatever degree of truth there might have been, would have been outright mean.

After all, Hitler didn’t, strictly speaking, start out as a cartoon hero as was the intent of the question, and he wasn’t a superhero in the eyes of at least a few German citizens. Moreover, he didn’t make movies so much as appeared in them — he left movie-making to Goebbels.

Missing a teachable moment usually doesn’t make me giggle so much. Knowing that it would ruin the spirit of the game, I kept my snarky observations to myself.

We got one more round of 20 questions in — Li’l Wayne — before they started playing volleyball with an inflatable globe.

I have a loose interpretation of Fun Friday.

Moral of the story? Anything can be a punchline. Anything.


  1. Did the volleyball look like this?

  2. Funnily enough, yes. Cheaper and more plastic, but basically the same.

    That’s marvelous.

  3. You should track down a copy of the movie and show that part to your class.

    That’s one of my favorite scenes in all of cinema.

  4. As far as favorite scenes go, I’m more of a “that scene in Misery with the sledgehammer” kind of guy.

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