Thursday, July 13, 2006


My new favourite student

The newbie cried. She cried and cried. She cried me a river, cried me a cadillac. She cried me a five-star hotel.

She cried so much that crying proved infectious and she set off one of my more established students: a fay, elfin child, whom I was able to calm down with some judicious hand holding and a few kind words.

But still the newbie cried. She cried me a Leopard, cried me a gazebo. She cried me out of the homes of my childhood.

The mother asked our schools Japanese staff to bring the tearful would-be evader of English into my classroom. The newbie's crying intensified as she was bundled through the door into the learning environment.

She cried, my other students yelled urusai! ("Turn down the volume!")

All to no avail: she cried me a school bus, cried me a chocolate factory. She cried the deserts dry and the moon in its celestial orbit.

She cried so hard that her prodigious snot impeded her breathing and she turned a funny colour.

She's going to blow, I thought.

Then, this pint-sized fog horn, this knee-high miracle of sadness, buckled at the waist and regurgitated a blob of mucus that could comfortably have filled both of my cupped hands onto the classroom carpet. The Japanese staff squawked in alarm and the newbie's crying abated and her eyes widened in childish wonder at what she had just delivered herself of.

I even felt relieved seeing it come out, so goodness knows how she must have felt.

The Japanese staff carried her out; she managed two more mucus blobs in the waiting area. I high-fived all of my students.

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