Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking a Stand

There's always drama in the air when you're hanging around with a few dozen teenagers.  In my beginning ESL class I have a young man with a fairly wicked sense of humor, but alas, insufficient vocabulary to express it.  The class is in a semicircle.  I like it that way, but I didn't move the seats out of rows until I was confident I knew everyone's name.

One young woman keeps moving her chair back to the front of the room, where it was before I rearranged everything.  She likes it there.  And the boy who's always smiling keeps following her.  I can't say as I blame him.  But he's got a tendency to speak to her in their native language, strictly verboten in my class, and when I catch him I exile him back to his regular seat.

"But she sit over there," he protests.

I decide to pull out an old chestnut.  "Well, if she jumps off the Empire State Building, are you going to jump off too?"

"Yes," he says, nodding his head without hesitation.  "I jump."

Then he wanders back to his seat, but doesn't sit.  He stands, looking out the trailer window.

"Are you waiting for your girlfriend to walk by?"  I ask him.

"No," he says.  "I looking for new one."

And he stands there looking out the window.  Being the nasty teacher I am, I call on him to answer questions.

He gets each one right, and I let him keep standing there.
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