Boring, and Bored!

I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 2nd of 5*: 

When you’re teaching it’s unrealistic to assume that your classes will always be fun – after all a mixture of terrible unrelatable subject matter, and poorly written books, can equal a nightmare for even the most enthusiastic teacher!

I recall once with a middle school class, the lesson was based around the Canadian governmental system…yeah, exactly…why? The books were made in Korea, which made it even more unusual – I just wasn’t sure how this was something that would benefit English language learners – actually I thought it was likely to confuse them if anything! But I was told this was what I had to do – in short, I basically had no choice. So I did what I could, and planned some fun activities surrounding the text…but we had to get through the heavy reading first.

Rudd GIF

This wasn’t fun for me, and it certainly wasn’t fun for them! But we stuck with it, I mean the lesson would finish eventually – right? The clock seemed to be ticking backwards, but surely that was just my imagination…it had to be…

Anyway – so on, and on, and on, the reading droned – something about elections, and votes, and private, and public…finance, and…well I don’t know…it all sounded like “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH” to me…I could see the students scratching their heads, wondering what evils they had committed to deserve this punishment…

That was when, out of nowhere – the girl who was reading erupted – I suppose her limit had been reached, and she could take no more! “TEACHER I’M SO BORING!” She collapsed into her forearms, and started to whinny like a dying horse. I tried to be as sympathetic as I could muster, and explained that she wasn’t boring – the book was just boring, and that she shouldn’t take it personally.

She didn’t look convinced, but I told her to continue, and commented that she had been doing well so far…but nope, she flatly refused; “NO, NO, NO! I’M TOO BORING! I CAN’T READ…NOT MORE!”

No No NO GIF

I’d lost the class – they were all probably running low on sugar, and discussions about politics, and systems they didn’t even understand hadn’t helped! So I took over the reading – and my goodness was it a drab pain-fest. I was both bored – which is surely a given – but also felt more boring for having read it.

So yeah, despite my student seemingly misunderstanding the difference between the two words, (boring, and bored) in a way – it had made complete, and total sense!

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

(you can check out the 1st of 5, here.)*

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23 thoughts on “Boring, and Bored!

  1. Is there anything worse than standing in front of a class and knowing a) you’ve lost them and b) the topic is just…zzzzz?!?! You’re right, time DOES go backwards. (Aaron probably has an explanation for that – you should ask him!)
    I assume this wasn’t your kindergarten class, because if so wtf??!

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  2. I’m soooo glad I’m not the only one that has to teach something boring. Lucky for me it’s not an all day deal. Oh my…politics…can you get any worse? I’m with you, just does not make since…but the story was very funny! Loved it and will never likely to forget it. You how now given me a funny story to tell others. Love the “I’m so boring”! Can’t wait to see what your other stories will be.

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  3. Canadian Politics? Tough subject to get interested in all right… I sometimes put them on TV just long enough to yawn and change the channel! I found when I could ignore the animated gifs, I got into the story just fine. They’re kind of distracting… I like when the girl whinnied like a horse! LOL!!

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  4. One great place to find bad use of grammar in literature is self-published books. I have one so horrible it makes me want to hide under my covers in the fetal position, as long as I can have a flashlight and paper and pen; or, my laptop to comfort me. Also, using those examples of bad English grammar, have you considered having your students get up in front of the rest of the class and (like a rehearsing for a play) have them act out characters. First, they read the bad grammar from the book. Then, you will handily give them a paper with the same speaking parts as in the book, but you will have typed or written them with proper grammar. Not only will the speakers hear the difference when they say it, but the whole class will sense the difference between the two also. Lather again and rinse as needed. I hope I’ve been of some help.

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    • I’ll be breaking out the wine soon too! 😀 so no worries! But yeah, I think you’re right with self-published books! I comb through my own posts, over, and over, and over again – even when they are published I often go back, and switch things around – I know it’s not a huge deal on a blog, but bad grammar, punctuation, and poor sentences can be so distracting! I feel like if it’s printed then there should be no errors! Simple!

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  5. That reminds me to a story of my children. My daughter (then 7) spent the weekend with her grandparents driving to a theme park with their mobile home. It was a hot summer weekend. When they came back home my middle son (then 4) was playing in the garden within a wading pool. My daughter was moaning around over and over that she was so bored. My son had fun in his pool but hearing his sister’s moaning he stopped and exclaimed: “Mom, I am so boring!” My husband replied instantly: “See, that’s why nobody plays with you…!”

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  6. My mom is a teacher and well, teachers teach, all the time. My worst teacher was Mrs. Larsen who taught typing. For some reason she had a keyboard on the chalkboard that we were to study before actually touching a keyboard,(actually typewriter but I don’t want to date myself). She would stand in front of the class and drone on and on and I swear I never heard a word she said. Thinking back, I guess she just didn’t want a bunch of kids pounding away on her beautiful typewriters but I must have learned something because I can type pretty well. I always related to the Charlie Brown’s version of the teacher, “WAA, WAAAA.” Great post and wonderful blog. Thanks for making me laugh, I really do need that.

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    • Oh, Mrs Larsen! I suppose it would be a total nightmare just RAT A TAT TAT from 30 kids, over, and over – smart lady! haha! We had a typewriter growing up – we were very late to get a computer! My Mother would write strongly worded letters of complaint on it – that’s when you knew there was going to be a problem! ha 😀

      Glad you enjoy the blog, thanks for your amusing comment! 🙂

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  7. Haha, she was expressing the time-space continuum of boredom, indeed ennui (feel free to correct my grammar). This reminds me of the time I asked my class to define ‘fun-loving’. And another time I asked them to list 100 ways they could help make a cleaner environment (I didn’t really expect them to come up with 100 but they did. I should have had a ‘kick-your-own-butt’ machine made.) 🙂

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