Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A test

I taught at my very low level university today. I had only one class, and it's one I rather enjoy. It is a class of first year 'Health and Wellness' majors (i.e. Home Economics with a fancy name), and is a required class for them. Most of them hate English, and have done very badly at it in the past. I try to make it interesting for them by reading them stories and things like that.

Today I gave this class a test. I wrote on the board, "Test," and they shrieked, "NO, SENSEI! TEST??? PLEASE, NO, SENSEI! PLEASE, PLEASE!!!"

Then I wrote underneath,

"This test is not for you. It is a teacher test. If you do well, your teacher did a good job. If you do badly, your teacher has failed. She will need to try harder and teach you better."

That was different. "Ah, naruhodo," they said, ("I see") and stopped fussing.

They didn't want me to fail, so they buckled down and tried hard.

The results were breathtakingly awful. I am clearly not doing as well as I thought I was, but at least I have an idea now of what I need to do.

In the teachers' room afterwards I was chatting with one of the other teachers. She is a Japanese teacher for foreign students, and always speaks English with me. She told me she'd had very stiff shoulders, so much so that she had a dizzy spell while driving into school on Monday, and hit the gatepost. She scratched her car quite badly, but wasn't hurt herself.

I asked her if she was feeling better now.

"Oh yes," she said. "After that I got some punctuation, and now I feel much better."

She talked a little more while I puzzled over this, but it wasn't until I was cycling out the gate that I realised what she'd meant.

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Francis said...


Badaunt said...


Cheryl said...

I like that - punctuate - puncture.
I like punctuating bubble-pak.