Never assume an 8th grader has any idea of what you are talking about. Example:
Me: So in a way, it was like she was making her own kind of Frankenstein.
Student: Oh, I know Frankenstein. This guy went to a party and he dropped his cocktail in the weeds. Then the weed caught on fire, the guy got high, and he invented Frankenstein.
Me: What? I guy got high and invented Frankenstein?
Student: Yea. When all the weed caught fire.
Me: Wait. What are you talking about? A guy was leaving a party and he dropped his cocktail.
Me: And he dropped his cocktail in some weed that caught on fire causing the man to get high?
Student: Yea. There was weed all around and it caught on fire because he dropped his cocktail.
Me: Jamil, are you talking about a Molotov cocktail? Like the bottle with the cloth in it that you light and throw?
Student: Yea. A guy threw his cocktail in a bunch of weed and it caught on fire. Then he discovered Frankenstein. He was up in that tower, ringing that bell, with the big ‘ol lump on his back.
Me: Are you talking about the Hunchback of Notre Dame?
Student: Yea. Wait. What? I’m confused.