“My dictionary!” the student exclaimed as he grabbed a large dictionary on the extra teachers’ desk in the teachers’ office.
“Had your dictionary gone missing?” I asked
“Yes, gone missing.”
“So, you are reunited?” I then add in my best ‘adult at the end of Lassie Come Home’ voice, “Such a happy moment.”
“Yes, so happy.”
In the West, a boy and his dog comes to mind. In China, the dog is replaced with a dictionary.
As soon as I got to school this morning, Edward had a question about a sentence which was absolutely not the time for me for a question about a sentence. I was running late or rather I was running on time with few minutes to spare but not a lot of time for a question about a sentence.
Thursday is my long day. I teach 6 classes which I usually supplement with a film. Today, I had planned to show the film Gandhi. Edward asked me the question as I came into the teachers’ office. When he asked me the question, I had my mind on other things; one of those things was to locate Gandhi. I knew the film was somewhere on my desk – or in my desk – in one of the many piles which seem to multiply in the night when I am away.
“Tell me which is correct in this sentence –
The reason why the explosion occurred was because the laboratory attendant had been careless.
The reason why the explosion occurred was that the laboratory attendant had been careless.”
Not really stopping to think about it, I told him that I think either was okay.
“No,” he told me firmly “because is wrong. It is a predictive clause.”
“Well, you asked me and in American English we would not really think about it. But if you say it is wrong, then okay it is wrong.” I did not want to really go into it and I didn’t want to be mean about it but I really didn’t want to go into it.
I try to be nice about this but if someone asks for my opinion, especially first thing in the morning - on my 6 period day - I am not absolutely kiss-ass thrilled when that person tells me I am wrong. Furthermore, I am not a walking English rule book by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose there are people who are. I am not. Yes, okay, it is redundant to say ‘why’ and ‘because’ in this sentence but it is it something to make a major case over especially when I am searching for Gandhi in the a.m.? Gandhi where in the fuck are you?! What would Gandhi do?
During this exchange, I located Gandhi. Armed with the film, I headed to class.
The end of the school year is upon us and this is always bittersweet because the time is getting closer when I will be going home for the summer but then, at the same time, the time is getting closer to when I will be saying goodbye forever to the students. The past few years when I left for the summer, I had assumed I would see the students that I was leaving the following school year. This year, I know this will not be the case because these students with whom I have spent so much time will be going to America. And there is a good chance that most of them I will never see again. If I do see them, this will be a strange coincidence. This saddens me.
So now, each day, I try to take in everything and laugh at all of the inconsequential interludes, those fleeting moments of laughing and sunshine in the garden; those times when Elliot is reading from the wrong paper.
Yesterday, I gave them a short article about a Mexican beauty queen who was arrested with her boyfriend and some gunrunners. The homework assignment was to either write about the day in the life of a police officer who deals with gunrunning or drug trafficking; or to ask the beauty queen questions and give her advice to help her get her career back on track. Most of them handed me something grammatically faulty but superbly entertaining
So, without further adieu, I would like to give you a glimpse into the minds of a couple of the students. (I have made some corrections where I feel it necessary but I have tried not so spoil the flow of their brilliance and creativity.)
I start to work at 7 o’clock. I meet my leader when I get to the office. If my leader doesn’t give me a task, I can stay in my office and have a rest. When tasks come, I must prepare for them. We must have a discussion about robbers, etc.
“Who can finish this task? It’s a hard task to catch a murderer,” the leader said.
“I can,” I said. (Neil Diamond! Watch out!)
“Ok, Danny will finish this task. Lucky for you!”
I think it is a chance for me. And I can finish this.
In the afternoon, I have some news about the murderer. He is in his home. I stand out of his door and watch him moving the body which he has killed just now. I break into the room. And shout “Don’t moving!”
I aim the gun at him. “If you don’t listen to me, I will kill you.”
“Do you kill people?”
“Yes,” I admit. ”So I will arrest you.”
The murderer don’t move. I think maybe he be arrested now. Beyond my imagination, he have a knife. It’s dangerous. I shut him then he died. He is died. I am finish the task. My leader encourage me and promote me. I am very happy.
Thank you Danny! I can see that your future writing crime fiction or television docudrama is secured. Elliot’s brilliant mind is a tad harder to crack. He writes in code that multiple English grammarians are still trying to crack. Good luck!
1. What relation ship between you and group?
I don’t have any relation with gang. They only threated me to help them. Yesterday, they break in to my house and put out the gun and threat me. Don’t call help and I do this. They will kill me. I’m afraid, very much.
They make me get in the car. I think they maybe to abduct me and gaved many money for me next. I know that are cabal and they sale medicine that’s all.
2. Why you know the cabal sale the medicine?
Because I usually saw they deal the medicine for example one name’s Kevin usually buy and they encourage me eat but I not listen them.
3. We want know something about your boyfriend.
Okay. My boyfriend is the brother of one of Mexico’s biggest gang bosses. But he is a good man. He about meet his brother twice a month. But I don’t know why they meet.
Sadly, I think the beauty queen may have been expunged before she was able to finish her interview.