Thursday, April 17, 2014

The language of invention
Yeah, I am just making stuff up as I go along. I don't really know how to teach English. It seems like just yesterday that I was ripping off Tracy Anderson and creating a revolutionary fitness class while my co-workers found new ways to ignore and sabotage me in equal measures. Nevertheless it is exam time and the fear is palpable in the pollen filled air. I have gone from two students to a dozen.

My student with the Bambi eyes finally spoke English to me yesterday. He told me this heartwrenching story about how his friends have kind of disappeared since highschool ended and how he spends his days working out and studying by himself since he failed his university entrance exams. He is studying biology that no one ever taught him at his art highschool from a text book and then he goes running and swimming to stay in optimal shape for pursing his dream of becoming a soccer coach. I told him that if I were him I would really concentrate on trying to do as many practice tests as possible. He said he didn't have any and that they didn't exist on the internet. I told him that come what may I was going to get him one. Luckily, the ever resourceful Elisa at the English school found one for me in about twenty seconds. My plan is to try to get him a soccer coaching gig for the summer through some of my other soccer enthusiast students and to translate the entrance exam into English with him so that all of his studies are pushing him in one direction towards his future. I guess you can take the social worker out of New York, but you can't take the . . . I don't know where I was going with that.

First meetings are always really awkward. First English lessons remind me of that awkward situation where I have to hold the door open for strangers, but I don't know if the gesture will be appreciated.  The problem is making the offer look casual. If I get to the door too early, sometimes people don't want to walk through it. That is my main fear: scaring people off. The second problem is getting to the door too late because you can miss out on a great connection with people. But mostly I just stand there for too long and right when I least expect it, they decide to walk through. 

I had to substitute for F when he took F to the orthodontist. He usually brags about how great his classes are with these two middle school best friends. They are well behaved and very disciplined ballet dancers who really give their all during their English lessons. After we finished doing their homework, I tried to share some episodes of So You Think You Can Dance with them and I don't know if they loved it or hated it. They looked totally Frozen.

I told F to ask them next week if they prefer him to come to them or if they would prefer to come to our house to see me. This way I wiill have some clues for how to behave. They either hated me or were intrigued.
This illustration  from really looks like the girls.

My idea of hell.
 Straying from the theme for a moment, does this photo look relaxing to you people? I saw it on Pinterest and all I could imagine were the sofa beds filled with sand and the sand getting in my hair and then trying to get into the beds without getting more sand on them and then figuring out how to clean the sheets without anyone catching on that I had messed them up in the first place. I'm the only one? Don't tell me that. Really? That's sad.

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