Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gentle Surprises

At the end of the workday I'm often exhausted. You have a limited concept of hell until you have tried your earnest best to search for meaning in the quagmire of a beginning English student's essays. If you're anything like me or my lovely apo, you'll be wide awake and tying yourself in mental knots making sure your students can understand the nuances of the language long after you should have been asleep or tying up the loose ends of your personal life.

You reach a point where you're sick of having more classes, as each one can potentially turn into 30 minute therapy sessions with students who cannot help but bring their troubles with them to class.
I was looking forward to the lull in my calendar of activities for each weekday.

Lo and behold, management slaps a new class on my schedule. What surprises is that I must really have been doing something right-- this student was formerly enrolled in our "coupon class" program, for students whose schedules are as frayed as Britney's domestic life. She normally bounces from one teacher to another in the course of her training until she finishes a month's worth of classes. That she decided--even if tentatively-- to stay with me on a fixed schedule is ...flattering.

I'm not looking forward to the inconvenience of hand-holding another novice as she makes the pilgrimage from Engrish to English. But she already speaks well; has the markings of a sharp mind. It would be a shame if a damned band score slaps her in the face with the word "inadequate."

To be told by your exes, your bosses, to be told by a stupid test that you're just not good enough-- It's happened to me a lot over the last three years and I am far more tired of that.

Let this never have to happen to the people who matter.

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