Today I heard just about the best description ever of our volatile Southern weather, when my tutoring student arrived for her session and announced,
“I’ve decided that our weather is on its period!”
Harnessing the healing power of snark
Today I saw one of my students for the first time since the Christmas break, and when we were done with Spanish we chatted a bit about our holidays.
“One day some of my friends and I thought it would be fun to get a Ouija board,” he said. “So we got one and were trying to use it at my house, but it didn’t work.”
Apparently they tried to do some troubleshooting, until one of his friends became convinced that he’d discovered the problem.
“Well we are down in your basement,” he said. “You don’t have any cell reception down here. So maybe the spirits can’t get through either.”
I really enjoy working with high school students, because they help keep me current on many things such as language.
I was recently tutoring one student, and in between Spanish exercises she was telling me stories about her various friends and how they’d “hooked up” with members of the opposite sex.
I had a vague idea of what that term meant when I was a teenager, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it covered these days, so I asked my student to clarify it for me.
She said, “Well it doesn’t mean having sex, but it means you do everything up to right before getting ready to have sex. At least that’s what is means if you’re a teenager. I don’t know what it means to old people.”
The other day I had a session with one of my new students. I was testing him on his vocabulary in preparation for a test, and we got to the word “edad”, which means “age”.
He couldn’t remember the English definition, so I tried to give him a hint.
I said, “If I tell you, ‘yo tengo treinta y cinco aÃ±os’ (Literally, “I have 35 years”), then ‘treinta y cinco aÃ±os’ is my ‘edad’.”
He thought about it for a while, and suddenly the light of comprehension dawned on his face.
So proud with himself for finally arriving at the right answer he yelled out, “I’ve got it-it’s OLD!”
Lately I’ve seen this blogging meme making the rounds where you Google “your name+needs” and then list the first five or so things that come up. Being nothing if not a Shamless Troller For Stuff I Can Write About On My Blog I googled, and I came up with these results:
-Jenny needs a job. (No thanks, I’m good.)
-Jenny needs to find herself a baller. (First, Jenny needs to know what the heck that even means.)
-Jenny needs a cold shower. (Yes, but only because of the fever that’s accompanying this damn strep throat!)
-Jenny needs a smack daddy. (This scares me.)
-Jenny needs attention (Hm, truer words were never spoken.)
-Jenny needs to see herself as a good reader. (Not a problem.)
I had no idea what a baller was (and I’m kind of afraid to know what a smack daddy is), but I wasn’t worried because today I was tutoring the high school student who is my source of knowledge for all things “hip” and current.
“So, what’s a ‘baller’ “, I asked her when she got here.
“Is that a serious question?” she asked in disbelief.(Sarcasm: the price I pay for knowledge.)
When I assured her that it was, she informed me that it had multiple meanings. On the one hand it can apparently mean that “you have pimps and ho’s around you”, or it can mean that you’re really good at something.
“So, you could say that you’re a baller at Spanish. And I? Well I could say that I’m a baller at life.”
We went on with the lesson until we got to a tricky problem involving a certain verb conjugation.
“Why is that the answer?” she demanded, when I corrected her mistake.
“Because [involved grammar explanation that you probably don’t really care about].”
“That really pisses me off!”
“I know. It’s because Spanish is out to get you.”
“Jenny, the whole world is out to get me. I’m a baller at life. That’s just the price I pay.”
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
…gives me a headache.
Usually I am pretty good at getting in the last word. Words are what I was trained in, and now words are my business. But yesterday I met my match.
I was working with a tutoring client and trying to elicit some information from him in a process which, incidentally, has given me entirely new insights into the phrase, “squeezing blood from a stone.”
I asked him if he was this difficult in all of his conversations with others, and he said that he liked to present people with a challenge.
Me: “Well, that’s just like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I love a good challenge.”
Him: “Yes, but then it’s just like in the cartoons when I pull the flag away, and there’s an anvil there instead.”