Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Did you know...

...that I've just eaten 4 sugar cubes? OK, well it was really 6, but that's just crazy, who eats 6 sugar cubes and actually admits it. But there you have it, I just ate 6 delicious, brown chunky sugar cubes. So there.

So it was the first day back at school today...always a fun day, especially for teachers I'm finding. My first class was actually not so bad: There were 8 of them and they were pretty well-behaved. Maybe it's because it was 8 am and they weren't awake enough to be disruptive. But the teacher wanted me to have them talk about their anti-smoking ads they'd started in on before break, so we talked about them for a while, and when I found out that all of the students smoked I was like, "do do these ads make you want to quit smoking?" and of course everyone was like, 'duh, no,' so my brilliant, properly-caffeinated brain pulled out a lesson plan from my magic wooly winter beanie cap and blurted out, "OK, make your own anti-smoking ads!" I think I might have had a vague hope that they'd come up w/ something personal and less roll-your-eyes-ok-we-know-cigarettes-are-bad banners, but let's face it, I was mostly excited that I didn't have to put forth any of my own effort for the next 30 minutes.

So OK, the ads weren't that spectacular, in fact I'd say they were pretty much pure shit, but the students cracked me up anyway when they got up to present what they'd drawn. One group of girls had two different men separated by a line down the middle of their paper. On one side the sun was shining, the man was smiling and carried a bulging briefcase. On the other side it was raining, the man was hunched over grumpily clenching a burning cigarette (how it remained lit in the rain is still a mystery to me, but hey, like I said, it was 8 am on Monday morning after a 3 week vacation) and he had no briefcase. The slogan was "Don't Smok, It's for your Futur", and the lesson was that you will be unemployed if you keep smoking cigarettes.

What. ... ?

It was after the first group turned their paper into me that the group of boys in the back realized they actually had to give me a finished product, so they scrambled and gave me a drawing with a man's head (smoking a cigarette, of course) sticking out of a freshly dug grave. Their slogan was "Smoking Kill Your Life." Go figure.

The next class I couldn't have gotten to be interested in anything, or even properly seated, if I'd taken in a giant chocolate marshmallow attached to a Bag of Fun from Magic Teenagers-Aren't-Full-of-Angst-And-School-Is-Really-Really-Fun-I-Swear Land. And I really just have nothing more to say about that.

Luckily I got to end the day with a class I normally dread. (haha how funny does THAT sound!) However, only 3 boys showed up (the 3 girls were either sick, still on vacay, or didn't want to come b/c they'd be the only girl). The boys are usually the worst behaved and speak the least amount of English, so I was groaning very loudly (inwardly, of course) when they came in and told me why they would be the only ones in the class today.

However, after 5 minutes of outlining a few notes about women's suffrage (what a day to have THAT lesson!) I just sighed and said, "Let's listen to music now, shall we?" So I gave them a choice of about ten different songs and they were excited in that teenage boy way of being excited, which basically means they were no different, except for a slight gleam in their eyes and the amount of time they took to shuffle through the papers and try to decide which song they wanted to start with, and then a rewarding little, "we want song to not know," meaning they were interested enough that they wanted to explore something they weren't already familiar with.


So we started with "Funeral" by Band of Horses--they didn't like the lead singer's voice, which is funny b/c I love that song but I've recently realized that I, too, don't much care for his voice. They also thought the lyrics didn't make sense, which they don't, so we had a little discussion about how lots of times songs have good music but crappy lyrics and why it might be more fun to listen to songs in a foreign language so you don't have to worry about not enjoying the music b/c you can't understand the words anyway. (Well, OK, I did most of the talking but they were able to communicate their agreement and "huh, that's a good point, I feel the same way but never really thought about it like that before." Or maybe I'm reading too much into my own awesomeness, but I swear that's the impression I got from Rowdy No. 1.)

They were able to fill in most of the words I'd blanked out on Spiritualized's "Soul on Fire," then we went popular and headbanged to "American Idiot," and then ended on "California Stars." I love teaching the word "twangy" to these Frenchies...it's such a funny word and they just look at me, like "wtf, mate." But it's so awesome b/c as soon as the guitar solo goes glidey-melty during a pause in the lyrics, I say "Hey, that's twang," and there's this fabulous "Ah HA!" moment, not on everyone's face, but on those whom it does register, it's really pretty cool. This time all 3 of them got it, and the little Arab boy that was acting the least involved in the class (staring off into space, not filling in too many lyrics) piped up to say that was his favorite song and that he really liked it.


Thus endeth Christmas vacay and beginneth the new semester. Le Sigh.


1 comment:

B McMolo said...

Tell them to make me an quitting-smoking motivational - the weirder-translated the better! Day four over here - I'll hang it up in the office as l'inspiration.