Monday, April 25, 2005


The class divide

For my last lesson yesterday, I had a man who was seemingly incapable of retaining any information for more than the blink of an eye. Here's the final roleplay from the class:

ME: OK, let's practice. Look at the file in the back of the book.

(He does so, it informs him that he is in Kansas, God knows why, and understandably enough wants to get the hell out of there. He is at the railway station and must request some information form the station attendant- that's me- using a sum total of three questions memorised from the previous 40 minutes' purgatory. Spooked, he goes for his notes.)

ME: Come off it, we've been practicing this for the last 40 minutes.

HE: Mw.. heh... gnh... what... nantoka... what...

(Goes for his notes again)

ME: Nope.

HE: (suddenly inspired) When is the nekisuto... jaa... When is the next train for Los Angeles?

ME: Five past six.

HE: Gnnnnnh... where platform?

ME: (prepared to let this go) Platform five.

(He twitches in his seat a bit more and has a go at asking me question number three, whether or not the train is on time, but it's all out of goose.)

ME: Not to worry. Now tell me: what time is your train?

(He gives me a look of horror and disbelief. How sadistic can one English teacher be?)

After ploughing this lonely furrow, I went to football practice in Ibaraki and Issei, the team's talented centre forward, delighted me by telling me to "stop bitching and lose some weight."

I've also been teaching him to go off his head at Gamble, the team's most volatile player, who once whaled on a takoyaki salesman for having the audacity to park his van and try to do some business. If Issei ever does produce this in the heat of a competitive game, I'll be responsible for disposing of his corpse.

Hello Yodogawa, goodbye Issei- a class act until the end.

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