a student takes me on a trip to egypt
Friday classes consist of writing, writing, and more writing. Usually done in a rush to not only fill in about 10 pages of difficult grammar/analogies, but to also write an essay with time to spare so I can check it so they can rewrite it for the next Friday class.
It's actually quite a pain in the neck, because you just know the kids aren't learning anything by going this quickly. It's pretty ridiculous.
I have one RA class (lower level) that I have MWF. Friday we do a writing class. This class and I have a love/hate relationship. When I let them get away with anything they love me and I hate them. Then of course the reverse is true. Not to say that I actually hate these children. They're actually pretty great, and one of my smarter classes, but they definitely get out of control, and I feel like a monster trying to get them back in line.
So anyway. Try to imagine, if you can, the madness that is a Friday writing class, with an out of control class that speaks virtually no English. They've already gone through a massive amount of grammar with their Korean teacher...after having already had a full day of REAL school (in comparative terms, my school is a "fake" school). The kids are basically dead.
I'm just trying to set the scene for you here.
Last Friday we had to write about visiting places, hence the title. The book is actually kind of stupid...while I understand that we're trying to teach structure, the book offers no room for creativity whatsoever. So you have to "imagine" that "John" is "taking a trip" to "somewhere" (London). An actual excerpt:
"Where is he going? What is he going to see at the art gallery?"
"Where is John going on Sunday? What can he see at the zoo?"
So when I tell the kids to "imagine" then give them the paper to write their creative stories, I have questions prompting them in this way that confuse the heck out of them. Normally I just tell them to run with it, and grade the same essay over and over again, which gets monotonous, but hey they're learning, right?
So most of the students turned in essays about John's trip to London. I have one student, Sung Hwan, who is about the clearest definition of "rapscallion" or "scalawag" that I have ever encountered. He kind of has that "aw shucks" attitude if he does something wrong, and he'll say something boy-like and give this wicked mischievous grin. Despite all of this, or probably because of it, this kid rules.
This is what Sung Hwan wrote (in a fill-in-the-blank fashion):
John is going to Egypt.
It is a exciting and dangerous.
On Saturday morning, He is going to Spinx and take picture. In the afthroon [afternoon] he is fight mumny in Pyramid In the evening he is find treasure and Pharaoh.
On Sunday, he is in the Guinnes Book and He is rich
On Sunday evening, John is stay all day
I knew somethin was a-brewin in that 11-year-old head of his because he kept asking me how to spell this and that. Most creative essay ever. Well...in my class.
And honestly, it wasn't TOO bad grammatically, comparatively speaking. Just imagine someone gave you a piece of paper and said, "Here. Write an essay in Arabic." It would be hard, that's all I'm saying.