Monday, February 28, 2005

I can't English

After and exhausting week of interviewing 220 7th grade students, repeating the same or similar questions over and over again, I was looking forward to sitting at my desk and correcting homework. Usually correcting sentences which students write is fun because some kids try to write interesting or funny things. One boy wrote recently, "I like high school girls."

Sometimes though I run into the problem of not recognizing mistakes. If you see the same incorrect thing over and over again, sometimes it starts to look right. Just if you read the same word over and over again you begin to doubt the spelling. At first, "I can play swimming" and "I can't English" were obvious mistakes, but after a while I wasn't sure anymore about sentences like, "I can play bowling" correct/incorrect I wasn't really sure. After some deliberation though I came to the conclusion that it should be, "I can swim/bowl/skate/etc." and kept my degenerating English level from declining any further.

Currently listening to: Ashlee Simpson - Autobiography
Eden is reading: Another City not My Own
Josh is reading: Sick Puppy

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Do you mind?

I've had this problem recently where I reply to questions in the exact opposite form of what I mean. Eden has been known to ask me, "Do you mind taking out the cutlery?" to which I always respond with, "Yes." It has really been confusing. My defense is that Japanese is confusing me and I forget how to respond in English, Eden just thinks I'm special. In Japanese a lot of polite requests happen to be formed in the negative form such as "Won't you come to the next class with me?" with the answer being, "No, (I will come)." When in English it should be, "Yes, (I will come)." So the end result of all this is that I am a very confused person and tell my teachers that I won't be coming to class and to Eden that I won't do anything around the apartment.

On another note I noticed something interesting in class the other day. All of my seventh grade students at school have these laminated banners on their desks with catch phrases that the students made. (Not sure if catch phrase is the proper term, but I can't think of what else to call it). Anyway, most of the students have phrases like, "Let's study for at least an hour everyday." or "Studying and sports club are equally important." or "Let's greet each other in a loud voice." that sort of thing. One girl in particular had two phrases that I liked, the first was, "Let's listen carefully to what the teacher says." and the other was, "Endure (persevere) through cleaning period." As the students have to clean the school, but for the most part do a very poor job and mainly just sit around and chat, although a few do really work hard. I just thought it funny that all the students wrote these sucky phrases and have them on their desks. I didn't see one that said anything about enjoying school but almost every student had one about studying or enduring/persevering. Sad.