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Come-meer bitch!

When I was a freshmen in college I took Japanese 2 with a couple of friends who I had studied Japanese with in high school. We were the trouble makers of the class. We had studied Japanese for at least three years already and had pretty much already learned most of what was taught in the class. We were always getting caught by out teacher who was normally entertained by our antics. When the three of us would miss a class she would ask, “So, you take field trip?”

Any doubts that we were her favorite students were banished the day we performed our mini-drama that illustrated the forms of speech where you speak up to or down to people of differing class. Before we began, we had to write vocabulary words on the board that the rest of the class were not likely to know. Most other groups would only have to write the definitions for a few words but we always had to take several minutes with our list. As we made our list, our teacher let out an gasp but then clapped.

The three of us were ahead of the rest of the class for other reasons, we all had hosted Japanese exchange students and Amanda had also been hosted in Japan. What do high school kids do as soon as they make friends with someone who speaks another language? They teach each other how to say inappropriate things. These are the things you remember years later. At this point I would have trouble getting directions to the train station but I cold tell you I have a big dick or insult you.

In our Mini-Drama I played GI Joe, I spoke Japanese with a Texas accent that I was able to do by mimicking how a high school classmate spoke. Chris-san played Superfly Bambiki (pimp) and Amanda-san played Bambi. Our transaction of me hiring Bambi for the night was perfect for the assignment. Superfly Bambiki spoke up to GI Joe and down to Bambi-san and we got to say many inappropriate things. Our teacher nearly lost it when Superfly called over Bambi by screaming “Oide Bambi Oide!” He was using the word that is meant to call your dog to come. Most of the class didn’t get all of our jokes but the person who we intended to make laugh got them all. Unfortunately there was no Japanese 3 class for us to take, and thus my study of Japanese ended.

Corpus Christi Carol - Jeff Buckley - Grace


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hehehehehehehehehehehe! That's so cool :-)

We definately did that in Moscow. The Russian kids (who spoke better English that we did) taught us a lot f what not to say. I ended up swapping Russian words for Spanish words with a girl, since we both knew english :-)
May. 26th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
When I was teaching, I'd sometimes have groups that contained a couple of students who were ahead of the rest: it was always a struggle to make sure that the stronger students didn't put the weaker ones off by intimidating them, and that the stronger students weren't bored. I had a few techniques for that.

I probably would've panicked a bit during your little scene, as we'd sometimes get complaints from students if someone else had said something inappropriate during a class and the teacher hadn't reacted. It sounds great though - I can imagine your Texo-Japanese accent!

May. 26th, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
That's something I have noticed a lot in my undergrad courses and back in high schol. I was way ahead of the rest of the class - so the prf taught t that level, and if it wasn't a class I was passionate about, I got all bored and daydreamy, or didn't do the work I needed to do.

What kind of techniques do you use to keep bright boys interested?
May. 26th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
I had it easy, because I taught English as a Foreign Language, so I could split the class into groups, and give them slightly different assignments based on the same material, or even the same assignment but let them take it as far as their abilities allowed them. I could have one stronger student with three lower level students and give the stronger student a task within that group that would let the weaker students speak and learn without being intimidated.

And if I had to explain something to the whole group, I used my theatrical flair to keep the stronger students from getting bored.

I think it would be much harder to do if it wasn't a language I was teaching.
May. 27th, 2005 04:46 am (UTC)
Cool cool.

It may work outside English as a foreign language. Both Dr. Dion and Dr. Suidan used that principle in putting together groups - pairing undergrad(s) with the grad students. In fact, Dr. Suidan was glad I took his class - because I was an undergrad (it's a grad-level class) and undergrads think outside the box a lot more =)
May. 27th, 2005 12:41 pm (UTC)
I've often wished I could have spent a year studying in the US, as from what I've seen and heard, in many universities, the lecturers tend to be creative, and the students are encouraged to think outside the box. European universities tend towards the old-fashioned and rigorous.
May. 27th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)
I dunno about that. A lot of the more "creative" teaching mechanisms don't really work for me. One of the major things that the uni is pushing here is "use of technology" in the classroom - using Powerpoint for lectures and such. I hate it - Powerpoint presentations just bore me to sleepiness.

Dr. Suidan taught "old school" in Biological Processes - he wrote out copious notes on the whiteboard for us to copy down. And it worked, at least for me.

On the other hand, Dr. Oether decided to break the Environmental Chemistry class into two project groups to work on nitrogen removal in the NYC sewer system or phosphorus recovery from wastewater. And that didn't work so well - we were shooting blind, and none of us had a clue what we were doing to design these systems, because we hadn't been taught.

So, I guess it works both ways.
May. 28th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
I taught a class called "Death by Powerpoint", which was essentially about how overused it is, and how badly used it is.

Good points. I still would've enjoyed trying out the system.
May. 26th, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
Hrm. I basically had the equivalent of Japanese -1. I think I lost knowledge of Japanese in my Japanese classes...

I remember, before I even entered High School I learned Hiragana and Katakana, and some very limited Kanji. First year Japanese, we spent over half the year learning Hiragana and not even all of Katakana. I begged to be let into a higher level class all that year, but lost the battle to my Japanese teacher.

To satisfy my High School's language requirement, I took three fucking years of that class...


May. 27th, 2005 12:01 am (UTC)

That's all Greek to me.
May. 27th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
Once again, a well told story and no Ellen moment to be found.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )