Friday, November 23, 2012


[in a Western accent] In these here parts, a good way to git students to care about English is to threaten 'em with a grade. Now, I weren't the one doing the threatenin', but Co-teach decided that I'd probably be a good person to judge the students' speakin' ability. Long story short, they've got ta give a three-minute speech in front of the class, in English and memorized, and whatever they git on it becomes ten percent of their grade in the grammar class. It goes without sayin' that they're takin' it seriously, most of them, leastways. Most of 'em are takin' advantage of the fact that I'm allowin' them to hand in as many drafts as they like, as I'd said on my honor that I'd correct 'em. That said, I won't go acceptin' no drafts without the student askin' me properly, first! In English! So here's what happened yesterday...

Four students mob me in the hallway, puttin' pieces of paper under my nose.

"Teacher! My draft!"

I crack a smile, thinkin', well, I'm not lettin' this go that easily. And I smile, jus' waitin'.

"Teacher, my draft... uh... [in Korean] How do you say 'check' in English?"

They know what I'm thinkin'. And I know they know what I'm thinkin'. "Yes?"

And they try so many darn times!

"I want... my draft."
"My draft, examine? Exam?"
"Please, you, my draft."
"I want to... check my draft."

This game's pretty fun, I'm thinkin'. "Who do you want to check your draft?"

"I want to check my draft... to you!"
"I want to examine my draft to you?"

Passin' period's almost up, so I give in. I say it to 'em, real slow. "I would like you to check my draft."

They repeat, and one of 'em counts the individual words on his fingers as he sounds 'em out. "I would like you to check my draft. [in Korean] Oh, this is so hard."

And I make all four of 'em say it back to me before I go takin' their papers. Then, a fifth student saunters up to the crowd. "What's up?" I say.

"Please check my draft." Hands me his paper. Walks away.

Folks are impressed. In a manner of speakin'... what a boss.