Friday, October 24, 2008

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog . . .

I’m not really happy about using the blog for public service announcements, but here it is anyway. For our friends living in Greenville, this seemed the best way to tell you that we will not be in South Carolina again until August.

I know we had planned to do stuff – I know! And I apologize for canceling it. I especially apologize to those of you with whom we had already canceled. But we wouldn’t be doing things this was if we didn’t think it was important.

We have an opportunity that I can’t really get into here on the blog, and it requires that we go to Canada during our winter holiday. Since the holiday is only two weeks long, that doesn’t really leave time for much else. Actually, it doesn’t leave time for anything else. We’ll be flying more or less straight to Calgary, and we’ll stay there for the duration.

Suffice it to say that we love you all, and we’ll miss you very much. We look forward to seeing you all again at the end of this school year. Until then, there’s always Skype!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bam! Hamburger!

First, I apologize for my dreadful delinquency. It's been three weeks since my last post -- I know, I know! I'm beating my head on my desk right now. Seriously. I mean, I was when I wrote this.

Anyway, I'll have a for-real post coming later. Now, let me try to appease you with more wacky massacring of the English language. We've just begun rehearsals for this year's Christmas play: an adaption of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. There were some hilarious misreadings during the auditions, and more than once I had to pretend to scratch my nose to hide my grin.

Student A, reading Scrooge: Why are you here?
Student B, reading Marley: Because I'm crazed!
Me, scratching my nose: That's cursed, girls. Cursed.

Later . . .
Student c, reading Scrooge: Merry Christmas? Bam! Hamburger!
Me, scratching furiously: Bah, like in bottle. And it's not hamburger, it's humbug.

Still later . . .
Student A, still reading Scrooge: Why are you cursed? You were always a good businesswoman.
Student B, still reading Marley and getting confused about my previous correction: I cursed too much about business! I should have cursed more about the people around me!
Me: (Unable to speak, shaking from silent laughter, covering my face and waving at the girls to continue)

That was two weeks ago. Right now, I'm grading another rather humorous assignment. I showed the (very) short film Lifted to my students last week and asked them to describe what was happening; you may remember it as the hilarious animated short that went with the Pixar movie Ratatouille, in which a hapless alien struggles futilely to pass a human-abduction exam while his instructor looks on.

Problem is, the word 'alien' is apparently not in my students' vocabulary. I've gotten quite a range of alternatives, though:

> There are two ET in the UFO.
> The strange person want to take the boy out of his room.
> Two organisms come to Earth.
> One monster want to take the human out.
> Two nonhuman beings download the earth.
> A small creature and a fat creature try to take a person.
> Two frogs come in a UFO.
> There are a big green and a small green.
> The small hero wanted to let a sleepy man come out of the house.
> A stranger animal wants to operate the machine.
> Two cartoons live the UFO.
> The beasts are in a plant. (Plant, plane, what's the difference?)
> The mechian person controlled the real person. (I don't know what she meant either)
> We can see two fingers in a fly ship which is like a plate. (I have no idea what she was going for, but 'finger' was definitely not it)>

. . . but no alien! Such are the difficulties of the English language. Until next time (which I promise will be sooner!),