Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh Dear....

Hey, look at me! Two posts in one day! I guess the fact that there are only 4 more days of school is giving me energy. :-)
So, I told this funny story to HH the other day, and he wants to post it on his blog too. It's that good (or sad, depending on how you look at it). A couple weeks ago in my 6th hour class, we were discussing the Cold War. (My 6th hour is filled with chatterboxes, because it's the end of the day, and some rather airheaded kids. That may sound mean, but you'll see what I'm talking about.) So, we were talking about Russia and how it's no longer communist, and the kids asked me what other countries are still communist. So we talked about Cuba, and China, and changing forms of communism. Some of the kids know that I've been to China (I have a map on the wall marking the places I've been), and they started asking me questions. Then the conversation turned to the Chinese language (no, not part of the lesson plan, but there was like 7 minutes left in the day and we all just wanted to get to the end of it). I told them how complicated Chinese is, and how there are over 3000 common characters to memorize, etc. Then students wanted to know how different languages got started, so I told them that languages change over time as groups live apart from each other (no Tower of Babel can be mentioned). So one girl in the second row raises her hand... 'Mrs. Petry, I don't get it!' 'What don't you get, Student X?" I asked. (Now Student X has a history of coming out with 'blonde' questions. Sometimes I think she just pretends dumb to get attention, and sometimes I'm not sure...) Anyway, she replied. "I just don't get it. If Chinese is so complicated, why did they stop using English and switch to that?"
Sigh. No, Student X, English is not the original language of the human race. You might be proud to be an American, but there are some things in this world actually didn't start with us. Shocker.


Doug Parker said...

Ha, ha, she does have a narrow view of the universe, eh? The innocence of childhood, like the time I was marched into the coatroom in first grade with all those winter coats hanging there ready for going out to the snowy play yard at recess. Soon I had to go and I don't mean maybe but all there was to use was a pocket in a thick winter coat. The teacher told me in no uncertain terms that I had to stay in that coat room until she allowed me to return to my desk, so I did what I had to. When the recess bell rang, I peered out the coat room door with pleading eyes, coat in hand and the teacher told me I could go out for recess. As I headed quickly toward the door I heard the loud wail of protest from the boy who owned that thick coat with the useful pocket. The teacher hurried back with a look of alarm and a glare at me as I left the room.

margaret said...

hee hee! I had forgotten about that story, Daddy. :-) My question is, why didn't you use your OWN coat pocket?