Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3514 is one of the largest rooms i teach in; it's got a large window which you can open, and which was open today, even though it's turned hot outside and the inside is much cooler. it has no clock but that's a different drama and much easier now that i have a cell phone and can know the time just by pressing one errant button. so i'm teaching in this warm, light-filled room overlooking the campus and the circle, and they were doing a toefl exercise based on the expression 'blue moon'- this was actually a toefl reading lesson- when one student pointed out a large fat bee which had come inside and was trapped by the steel panes of the window unable to get back out. i used the list of students to try to coax him outside but he fell through the half-inch crack caused by a metal ledge that was part of the pane below the open window. now he was down beneath, unwilling to come back up through the narrow crack, unwilling to come out from the window so that he could get around the metal ledge, and clearly, visibly and loudly, quite upset.

so i'm leaning over, trying to coax him onto that student list; the one guy who had pointed him out was just staring at me, too distracted to read. others were trying to read and watch the bee at the same time. i'm poking him and prodding him, trying to get him onto this list, but he's not having any part of it, and this goes on for a few minutes of utter futility. finally i got an idea. i spoke to him like a father with a stern voice. i told him he didn't have much choice but if he got on the paper everything would be fine. and, much to my surprise, he finally listened. it could be that i got the paper around him in just such a way that he really had no choice. but finally, i got him, back and around the ledge, and out the window, and away he flew. he was visibly happy as he flew off. open, outdoor air, that's what he wanted all along. he wasn't much for the toefl.

as for the blue moon, it was a good exercise, but it's over. anything you want to know about blue moons, let me know. i'm somewhat of an expert.

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