Found in translation. What students aren’t asking.

1. Is this going to be on the test? Translation=If it is, I’m listening; if not, I’ll just pretend to listen while I zone out about wanting to marry Johnny Depp and/or what to wear to Prom.

2. Is this long enough? Translation=I’m tired of writing this paper, so is this the minimal effort I can expend for a maximum payoff?

3. Can’t you just tell us the answer? Translation=it’s so much faster when you tell us the answer, then class might end early, then I can have time to continue my wedding details with Johnny Depp and ask Sally what she’s wearing to Prom.

4. Are you taking off for spelling? Translation=I’d rather not have to piddle with using a dictionary.

5. I turned that in. Did you lose it? Translation=It’s buried under piles of crusty sandwiches, crumpled paper, and dirty gym clothes in my backpack. I don’t want to look for it.

6. Why can’t you be like other teachers? Translation=You expect us to think. We like regurgitating information on worksheets.

7. You knew what I meant. Why did you take points off on this answer? Translation=I made every attempt to provide quality vagueness, and I think that alone should be rewarded.


5 thoughts on “Found in translation. What students aren’t asking.

  1. That last one cracks me up. We used to do that all the time! It’s funny though, it didn’t work when I got to AP English. I had a crusty old Ukrainian for a teacher who really should have been a college professor, and I swore he hated me.

    He ripped me apart in red pen once for misusing “sated” (instead of satiated). C’mon, to a high schooler… same basic idea, right? Nope, totally different word and I should have known better.

    Looking back, I wish all my teachers had been like him.

  2. I taught AP English for 10 years; in fact, I go to Daytona to score AP Language exams (I’m such a nerd).

    My students would say I’m the American female version of your teacher!

  3. Pingback: Standards for Life by Natalie Jost » Foul Language

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