It was a dark and stormy night….

July 19, 2010

Suddenly there was a werewolf. I was feared.

I love the way my students think.  I don’t want to correct “I was feared” – doesn’t that sound awesome.  It makes a certain kind of sense.  Of course on the “Mistakes were made” board, I will have to put it up, but I just love some of the “bad” English my students come up with.

It’s our first day of summer camp, and the theme is mystery.  I named my camp “Summer Camp: It’s murder”.  One of the tasks is a write around.  I gave the students a prompt (It was a dark and stormy night – even if they don’t get the joke, I sometimes amuse myself with lesson plans) They had 5 minutes to write, then they had to pass along the story they started and finish the story someone else started. We went around 3 times.  I wanted to go more times around, but we had a new student.  I have 9 students in the class now, and 8 of them are intermediate. They are also very keen to learn English. Two of them came up to me and asked for extra writing practice because they were “weak at writing”.

The new girl wasn’t someone I have had before, and she is very basic.  I watched her as the other students were writing, trying to find a place to set her eyes.  She couldn’t do many of the basic things we were doing in class. She couldn’t ask a single yes/no question for the 5 minute mystery, she couldn’t answer any of my questions.   My heart broke a little.  I could imagine how it must feel, everyone knowing what to do, how to do it, where to go… it hurts.  I can’t simplify the class too much for her, because she is only one student, and I’ve already promised a tough yet interesting and fun camp to the other students.

So I did what I thought was best, I took her to the Korean teacher.  I really felt bad, when I suggested we go together she almost started crying.  I had one of the other students translate, I wasn’t angry, I just needed the Korean teacher to translate for me.  All three of us agreed she didn’t belong in the class, but it still felt bad.  The good news is that the other students did awesome.  I think the camp is going to be a lot of fun.

Saturday was a dark and stormy day.  I had plans to go to Nami Island. It is a day trip from Seoul, and I was going to meet a good friend. But. It rained. It rained Friday night, and Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night.  It was depressing.   Then Sunday morning, the sun came out.  My bicycle called my name.  I took it out to the river and had a leisurely ride. The flowers were fantastic. Hibiscus blooms as big as my hand, a flock of butterflies lighted and fluttered around a patch of lavender, black-eyed susans bobbed in the breeze, cosmos, daisies and a few flowers I don’t know the names of were all showing off.  There were even a couple of irises that were tenaciously holding on to their beauty despite the heat and a recent raindrop beat-down.

I didn’t see any werewolves though. At least not that I know of.