Friday, January 12, 2007

Internet, Phone, and Money

My colleague, Ms. Bright, had to cover an ESL class the other day. She's a language teacher, and a student who spoke her language was very upset with her.

"I know you. I don't like you. You're a terrible teacher," he said.

She told him he didn't have to like her, and that all he needed to do was the assignment she'd written on the board.

"You are a very bad teacher. You called my friend's house after he was absent only two days, and got him in trouble. In Mr. Dull's class, we can be absent for a month, walk right in, and he won't say a word about it."

"I can't say anything about Mr. Dull," she told him. "That's just how I do things."

"That's not all!" he shouted. "You told his mother to take away his internet, his phone, and his spending money. And do you know what she did? Well, do you?"

"Yes I do," she replied. "She took away his internet, his phone, and his spending money. And now he's passing my class."

"Who cares about that? How is he supposed to live without internet, phone or money? You are the worst teacher I've ever seen!"

"Well, you shouldn't really speak to me like that. We only have two teachers who teach your language, and I'm one of them. Think about the future."

At that point, the student burst into a string of colorful invective (I'll spare you) in front of a roomful of witnesses (many of whom understood the language he was speaking). Ms. Bright wrote it down word for word, translated it, and now the young man is suspended for three days.

But it's not all bad. He's still got his internet, his phone, and his money.
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