Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Today in two of my classes the topic in the textbook was 'fears.' There was a questionnaire to get the students talking, and one of the questions was,

Are you afraid of flying?

As I wandered around the classroom I overheard the students in one group discussing this question in Japanese. They were not sure how to answer it, which seemed a little odd. It wasn't such a difficult question, was it? They weren't the only ones having trouble, either. I could hear another group puzzling over the same thing.

As I eavesdropped on their discussions I suddenly understood what the problem was and had to suppress a giggle. I went back to the blackboard and wrote the question up there. Then I drew an arrow from flying and added underneath, in a plane.

"Ohhhh! In a PLANE!" I heard chorused behind me, and they wrote their answers and moved onto the next question.


They understood the first question perfectly, though:

What were you afraid of when you were a child?

Most of the male students (but none of the female students) wrote, without even having to think about it,

My mother.

That was a lot more worrying than their puzzling over how a person could remain airborne for long enough to develop a fear of flying.


Anonymous said...

I needed a laugh today. Thanks!

All teachers could probably get a PhD in psychology based on life-experience credits.

Faerunner said...

I would hope that it's because mothers in Japan are worth being scared of. I think the US needs more scary-mothers.

And I can't wait to have my own classroom and find out fun things like this. They don't teach you anything as good as this in Elementary Ed classes :(

kenju said...

That's so funny. I guess teaching in a foreign language brings up all sorts of problems with concepts that others might not notice.

kenju said...

I had to come back, as I just noticed it is your birthday! Have a happy one and a good year to come.

Badaunt said...

Kenju: HOW DID YOU KNOW? Even *I* managed to forget.

Actually... it was yours a few days ago too, wasn't it? Was that it? Did I mention mine in a comment or something?

(It was yesterday, but I suppose yesterday was still today in the US - and happy birthday to you, too!)

kenju said...

Thanks! I knew about yours because you mentioned it last year about this time and I wrote it on my birthday calendar. I know.....I'm hopeless.

Cheryl said...

They do say that the bullied can become bullies, but yes, very disconcerting.
I shall spend all day now trying to find the line between being snappy and being a bully.