* A Year 11 student was writing about his hobby of motorbike racing. He described how a colleague had been bullied: "He was an exceptional rider so we all took the mick out of him, calling him a wimp. In the end he cracked up under pier pressure."
* An angry parent confronted me one evening about the lack of an end-of-term disco ticket for his nine-year-old son. "I'm sorry they're sold out," I told him.
"Do you realise I've kept him off all week so he could go to this," he repied.
* Things were going along nicely with my brainstorming session on onomatopoeic words with Year 8 - my first time in front of a class. We moved on to words to do with fireworks night. But I did not expect the following contribution.
"What's your word, Michael?"
"Very good," I said, remembering my recent lectures on positive reinforcement. "What kind of firework makes that noise?"
"One with a cat tied to it."