Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Fingers recovered, blogs away!

Yasmine asked me about the book I had listed in the column to the left, Peace Like a River. In case you’re still wondering Yasmine, it’s a really nice book. It has an intelligent plot, a satisfying even if tragic conclusion, and best of all, it’s got a G rating. I don’t know if movies all over the world are rated the same way, but a G rating means that a movie is suitable for all viewing ages. Either way, I really enjoyed Peace Like a River and I highly recommend it. I also highly thank Chai and Apple Pie (who’s no longer blogging) who gave me the book to begin with.

Surprisingly, there are very few good books that would get a G rating if they were turned into movies, and you have no idea how hard that makes my job as an English teacher. I try to select books that are interesting, preferably classics, for my students. Any book I select has to be proper too, because I take responsibility for what I recommend to my students. There can be no vulgarity and no obscenity, because we read all the books out loud and define any new words and discuss what things mean.

Diplomat: And then Mr. Smith umm, Miss Khan, what is this word? (pointing to word on page)

Sensei: That word? Oh, uh… it’s means, uh…(starts sweating) hey look, a spy! (yanks book out of hand and runs out of room)

I can’t tell you guys how many awkward situations I’ve really been in while trying to answer my student’s innocent vocabulary questions. One of my Irani students very innocently asked me one day: “What is the meaning of the word hoar, h-o-a-r?”

“Hoar?” I asked her, confused. “It’s an old word for mold, that stuff that sometimes grows on old bread. And hoary means grayish or whitish. Why do you ask? Where did you read that word?”

“I know mold, but are you sure that is the meaning, or maybe I am spelling it wrong.” my student said, “Because that seems very strange.”

“Was it in a book?” I asked, trying to figure out where she had read it.

“No, I was watching a show, I can’t remember the name, and one woman said to another, You hoar. Ah yes,” my student said brightening, “The show was called, “Jerry Springer!”

We cleared that one up shortly. I’ve also been in weird situations where students have told me that their handwriting was illicit, when they meant illegible. One student told me he liked bees in his tea. He meant honey. It takes everything I’ve got to keep a straight face sometimes, and I don’t always succeed. I’m trying though, honest I am.

Who said teaching wasn’t a high-stress job? Hmmph.

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