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Amparo Bertram

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05:15 pm: There are some things I just don't know
For my first period class this morning, I saw my team teacher head out of the faculty room a couple minutes early, so I knew we had class. As soon as the bell rang, I walked to the seminar room. Door locked. No teacher. No students.

I went downstairs to the language lab, in case he had moved class there (which he's done before). No teacher. No students.

I checked the seminar room again, in case someone had gone up the exterior staircase and entered on the fourth floor. No dice. Finally, as I was about to head back to the faculty room, a student came to fetch me. Seems we were having the lesson in their homeroom classroom.

I say again: Thanks for telling me.

My guest lesson went all right. When we got to the Apples to Apples part, they got the hang of it rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, that after a couple rounds, they started getting into the snarky aspect of it. That is, they would choose words for the humor value rather than the literal meaning. Example: A team is supposed to judge which noun most closely matches the adjective "tall." Given the choice between "mountain" and "pizza," they discard "mountain" as too obvious and choose "pizza" instead. The little stinkers. (Gee, they play just like native speakers.)

I will now list yet another challenge of being an ALT: being asked to explain something that one does not actually know. Today in one class the students were given fragments of newspaper headlines and asked to complete them. My team teacher says to me...

Teacher: Tell them the rules.
Me: ...?
Teacher: Tell them the rules.
Me: ...Rules?
Teacher: Such as, they have to write in present tense.
Me: ...That's a rule?

I took an entire year of journalism in high school and was the co-editor of the school paper another year, and I never knew headlines had rules. I think we just kind of went by what sounded good.

Afterward, a person from the International Exchange group stopped by to ask me some questions about translating a letter from the Lenawee Intermediate School District. I was able to set her straight about LISD not being synonymous with "Lenawee Middle Schools," but I couldn't for the life of me tell her what the exact Japanese translation would be. I just don't have that kind of vocabulary. ^_^;

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 4th, 2005 02:50 am (UTC)
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I say again: Thanks for telling me.
It's Gaijin Telepathy!

While I get what your teacher is trying to say about headlines, they're certainly not always in present tense. Oh well.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 4th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
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It's Gaijin Telepathy!

<laugh> That's it exactly.

While I get what your teacher is trying to say about headlines, they're certainly not always in present tense. Oh well.

The other one was that the "be" verb is always dropped in the passive. I know it's often done for the sake of making them shorter, but I don't know if I would have gone so far as to call it a "rule." I mean...is there some Headline Grammar Police out there to catch you if you say "Rainforests Are Threatened" instead of "Rainforests Threatened"...?
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 4th, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)
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I mean...is there some Headline Grammar Police out there to catch you if you say "Rainforests Are Threatened" instead of "Rainforests Threatened"...?
No, but I agree that it sounds more natural without "are." Wait, look what I found: rules
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 5th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)
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That's pretty enlightening. The content guidelines are kind of common sense, but some of the things (like using a comma instead of "and") I've seen but would never have thought of myself.
[User Picture]
From:pacoese
Date:February 4th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)
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That's pretty krummy that they wouldn't tell you where the class was being held. Plus you're a lot nicer than I am, I would just thought the LISD = Lenawee Middle Schools was a gimmie. Grr cold weather.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 4th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty krummy that they wouldn't tell you where the class was being held.

<sigh> I guess they just assume that if *they* know it, then *I* must know it.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:February 5th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)

Time to become proactive

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It seems that now would be a good time each day to smile at the team teacher in the faculty room and ask, "Is there anything happening I should know about class today?" or whatever the culturally appropriate version of that question would be. Maybe we're assuming a lot to think they would take the initiative. It could be a cultural thing. Or maybe after asking that question a few times (when it gets old), the question could be changed to, "Would you please advise me of any class changes from our regular routine? Otherwise, this looks a lot like a pattern that is going to keep repeating.

At some point they must have advised the students. Do they do that when you are not in the room?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 5th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Time to become proactive

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Not telling the ALT what's going on is something that happens to *every* ALT. (The other ALT who comes in the afternoon is occasionally not told when we are having shortened schedules, so he shows up at his usual time and his class is already over.)

Most of my team teachers are pretty good about it, though, it's just this particular one who changes rooms and such without bothering to say anything to me.

At some point they must have advised the students. Do they do that when you are not in the room?

It seems to be something that's built into the schedule...that is, I was asked to come to the two guest lessons because they had both halves of the class in the same homeroom classroom for their English class and the regular teacher didn't want to have to handle all 40 students alone. However, I didn't make the connection between those other two classes doing that and *my* class doing that--I assumed it was something special for those other two classes, not that all first-year students were doing it. So the students were probably told about it in their homeroom a long time ago.
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