Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Two happy stories

After reading Kat’s most recent post, it occurred to me that for some strange reason beyond my comprehension, the last few weeks of teaching have been... strangely normal. It’s almost like (dare I even think it???) I’ve finally gotten some control over the kids. And (surely I won’t finish this sentence without the finger of god reaching down and crushing me) not only that they’re under control but.... actually.... learning.

Whew.

I don’t know what caused this and I doubt it’ll last, but while it does I’ll celebrate, and pass the love on by sharing two good student stories.

Story one, Robin: A bunch of the students have my msn address, and message me whenever I’m online. Emily how are you? Emily what’s your favorite color? Emily what are you doing? Emily do my homework for me. Emily Emily Emily hi hi hi. The same things every time.

A bunch of 8th graders just added me as a friend recently, so when someone unknown started messaging me the other night, I assumed it was one of them. I didn’t recognize his picture, but his English was pretty good. He asked thoughtful, well-written questions, albeit slowly, and gave full answers to my questions. We talked about me living in Hungary, how he would like to live abroad, how difficult living away from family is, how learning a foreign language is hard but fun, etc. Finally my curiosity won out and I had to know who I was talking to. How old are you? 12. Where do you go to school? Kassai, my class the 5b. My blood went cold. 5b is the terror class, the class that prompts meeting after meeting where all the teachers ponder desperately what is to be done with this group of ignorant, disobedient monsters. And then I asked his name: Robin. The leader of the monsters, or so I’ve only heard - he’s in the lowest level English class, which I don’t teach.

We continued chatting, and I continued to be amazed at this boy, who I’ve never met but have heard horror story after horror story about. Amazed that these stories could be true about a boy who I had mistaken for one of my polite, well-spoken upperclassmen.

Story two, Dávid: I’m always thrilled when the students use English when I’m not forcing them to. I overheard this jewel as I was leaving a first-period class (after which there is only a five-minute break; they're always worried about being late)

Imi: Dávid, várjal csak (wait up)!
Dávid: No, Imi! I no lating because you!

It made my day.

3 comments:

barry said...

Hi Emily,

I've been reading your blog for a while now and wonder if you will be hanging around Hungary for a while during the summer, as my company needs a native speaker with experience for two or three weeks' work in a summer camp (late June and early July). If you're interested (or a friend of yours) email me as soon as you can.

firstlinelanguages@interware.hu

mahovorka said...

Emily - I've been a fan of your site for months, and your writing never ceases to make me smile. Sorry to post something personal here, but I don't see a way to send you email. I read your earlier post about your job and hope you can stay! I know of a school in Budapest that is looking for an American teacher. If you would like more information, please email me at mahovorka AT hotmail DOT com.

mahovorka said...

Wow. I guess when it rains, it storms, eh?