Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You Are Not Alone

I have been giving mid-term exams over the past couple of weeks. This has been nice for me; a little break while the students do most of the work. Well, some of them. They are supposed to give 5-minute speeches. I had some that did really well - prepared in advance, showed up on time, wrote the speech themselves instead of getting it off the internet, etc. I had some that did okay. I had some that just brown-nosed the whole time hoping to get a good grade - example: one student's topic was 'My Favorite Musician.' She said it was me... the first day of class I told them they could ask me anything; they asked me to sing. I sang one verse of 'You are My Sunshine' and evidently made such an impression with this young lady as to become her favorite musician - and some that probably had a really great speech, but I couldn't tell because I couldn't understand a word of their English. But my two "favorites" were the two young men who sang to me. One of them has only been to class once. I was slightly impressed that he showed up for the exam at all. His topic was 'Exercise.' The following is his speech:

There are two things people should do to better themselves: learn and exercise.

That was it. The remainder of the time, he decided to sing me a song in English, hoping this would improve his grade. It didn't.

But my favorite by far was from Juan (this is his "English" name, although he pronounces it Jew-Ann). He actually prepared a speech, but felt he needed to add something to improve it. He said, "Mrs. Bowen, it must be difficult to sit here all day by yourself and listen to our speeches, so I will sing you a song, and maybe it will improve my grade." Then he proceeded to sing "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson. I was going to give him bonus points until I heard this part of the song: "I am here wiss you." Sorry Jew-Ann, no A for you.

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