Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Adventures in English 
Yesterday my middle school student limped up the stairs to his lesson more or less on time. It turned out he had hurt his ankle playing soccer. When he got upstairs, he realized that he had left his English books at home. This was a problem because he was going to have a verifica/quiz in English in school the following day. While he limped back down the steep stone staircase to unlock his bicycle for a quick sprint back home, I racked my brains about how to teach him the rule for the present simple in a way that he would never forget it. ESL students have a horrible time remembering that while we say I run, you run, we run, they run, we have to add a final s to the verb when the subject is he, she, or it.

This is the cappuccino I wish I had downed this morning.
 When he finally got back for the second time with his English books, I was anxious about getting him prepared in the little time that was remaining. In my haste, I taught him the same memorization tool that I had dreamed up for learning the present simple that I taught him for learning how to create plural nouns. I told him that he should think of the letter S as being the S on the chest of superheroes like Superman (he) and Superwoman (she)  and their dog named IT, who is also Super. Imagine that there is a bully at school, I said. Just one cousin of yours may not be strong enough to fight him off, but if you add an S and all of your cousinS come to school to fight the bully they will surely win. Ah, I get it, he said. My cousinS can beat up the bully, he said with an especially adorable emphasis on the final  S. Yes, great job, I told him. Next, I asked him to use the verb to have/to have got to fill in the blank in the following sentence: My cousins (blank) a beautiful house. My cousinS haS got a beautiful house and not only that -- they can fight off the bully, he answered proudly. Whoops. Don't worry, I think I got him straightened out before he had to limp home for the final time.

This is the sugar I wish I woud have been able to put in it. Three weeks down, five weeks to go in my eight week no sugar challenge.


T. She is latin-a-liscious. From the root . . ah forget it.
 My university aged student happened to mention to me that he knows T's Latin professor quite well, but he didn't tell me how. I assumed they were neighbors or something. I brought this up at the parent teacher meeting today. The meeting went so well and the professor is so pleased with T, that I told F afterwards that if I have to die soon, I hope it's today so that I could end life on an up note. That's how well it went. And it only went up from there because it turns out that my student is an old and very appreciated student of this professor, who is also a psychologist. He is currently doing these psychodrama workshops with her in preparation for his future career as a therapist for people with drug addictions. We chatted on forever and F only kicked me once under the table because even he could see how well the meeting was going. Kill me now, I tell you; I know we won't always get off so easy.

No comments: