From a kid?s point of view the following happens with some frequency. Ms. Jones is teaching; you ask her a question such as ?Is there a test on this?? and suddenly Ms. Jones, yelling and foaming, has to be scraped off the ceiling. ?I want that student electrocuted!? screams a wild-eyed, disheveled Ms. Jones. When asked what set Ms. Jones off, you reply: ?Nothing. I just asked a simple question and she went crazy.?
Here?s what really happened: Most students have a one-on-one relationship with a teacher. You sit at your desk; the teacher stands in front of the room. One-on-one. On rare occasions, during a lesson, you, the student, are aware of other students -- when they fart or burp or ask stupid questions or do stupid things. Depending on where you sit in the classroom, you get to see the weird ears and backs of heads of the kids in front of you; the profile of the pimply kids next to you; and at best, various snapshot angles of this or that kid. Mostly, you see the teacher in front of the room. You don?t see anyone behind you, unless you?re a mutant.
The teacher, unfortunately, sees everyone during the lesson; the good kids, the bad kids, the disgusting kids. Ms. Jones looks out over the classroom and as she teaches her heart out, she notices a kid with his finger jammed to the knuckle in his nose, or a kid rolling his eyes at everything she says, or another kid checking for messages on her cell phone, or a kid soundly sleeping. Ms. Jones says: ?Now don?t forget there?s going to be a test on this material.? She starts to teach and some kid raises her hand: ?Is there going to be a test on this?? ?Yes,? says Ms. Jones, ?I just said that.? Another kid, from a deep well of dopiness, says: ?I?m never going to use this when I grow up, it?s boring.? Several other kids nod their spiked heads in agreement. ?Just learn it,? says Ms. Jones, ?you never know what you?ll need when you grow up.? ?I have to go to the bathroom,? states another kid. ?It?s an emergency.? ?But,? says Ms. Jones, ?this next part is very important, you don?t want to miss this.? ?I?ll come in for extra help, I have to pee.? Ms. Jones stops teaching to write out a pass, records the time the kid left the room on the ?Time the Kid Left the Room? form. Now, she tries to take up the shattered pieces of her lesson, attempting to reengage the half dozen kids who are now deep in a discussion of which body part they?re going to pierce this weekend, when you raise your hand and say: ?Is there a test on this?? And Ms. Jones blasts off.
And that?s why Ms. Jones was one happy camper when I saw her at the blackjack tables last summer in Las Vegas!
I?ve been asked what are the basic underlying laws governing the universe. Those I don?t know. The craps laws, I do know. Here they are:
The Ten Commandments of Craps
1. Never put down a bet when the dice are in the air. If the dice hit the money or the chips, the ?seven? will result and that big guy I mentioned earlier will be aiming for you.
2. Never talk to a shooter who is about to roll. If you do, that ?seven? will come up.
3. Never push your way into a game next to a person who is shooting. If you bump him, you know what will happen and you know what big guy will be after you.
4. Never say the word ?seven? at a craps table. If you do, it will appear.
5. Never think the word ?seven? at a craps table. If you do, it will appear.
6. Never take new dice if a die goes off the table. Ask for ?same dice? or the ?seven? will appear.
7. Never dangle your hands over the table because if the dice hit them, the ?seven? will appear and so will that big guy who punches people.
8. Never delay the game because a hot shooter always cools off during delays and you know what number will come up then. If you can?t figure out what bets you made, find some simpler game, like slots, to play.
9. Never yell at someone who sevens out early. If you do, when it?s your turn, you?ll seven out early too.
10. Never tell people how much money you?ve won playing craps because they?ll expect you to buy that baby a new pair of shoes!
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