The day’s grammar point was: I’m too something to do something or I’m so something that I can’t do something. My instructions to the class: Make pairs and prepare a skit using the following guidelines, but feel free to expand beyond it. Let your imaginations run wild:
Student A: Hey _____________ , let’s do something today.
Student B: Sorry _______________ but __________ am/is/are too ____________ to do something today.
Student A: Oh, I see. That’s too bad.
Student B: How about something else?
Student A: That sounds like fun but I can’t. _______________________ am/are/is so _________________ that _____________ can’t ____________________________.
Student B: Ok, I understand.
Student A: How about tomorrow?
Student B: That sounds great!
I had already taught them the grammar the previous week, so this was kind of a review and an opportunity to demonstrate what they’d learned. This was my English Elective class so the students were mostly the ones who who love English or are pretty good at it. At first I was going to have them perform their skits before the entire class, but I changed my mind. The potential embarrassment often restricts the weaker student’s imaginations and they’d likely stick to the safe and simple, instead of spreading their wings a little, which is what I like to encourage them to do. So I told them that they need only perform it before me or the Japanese teacher. If they do it they’ll get a stamp, but if they use some imagination they’ll receive two stamps. The Kids love stamps. I have a Snoopy stamp that I use. (Can’t find any “A pimp named Slickback” stamps anywhere) (-:
“Yoroshii deshou ka?” (Is that ok with everybody?)
No response, which could either mean yes or no depending on the quality of the silence, which I still have trouble reading.
“Ok, let’s make pairs!” I said and held up two fingers. My kids know a lot of classroom instruction words like “make pairs” “Make groups” “Sit down” “Stand up” “Answer the question,” etc…but they choose to disregard the meaning whenever it’s inconvenient. Some girls like to work in threes or fours. Some guys like to work in a mob. Pair work is just not group enough for some kids. So I had to walk around the classroom breaking trios, quartets, quintets and mobs into duos for a few minutes.
Tarou and Yuuji naturally paired off, no arm twisting necessary. They were manzai, a team. And I could see in the purposeful expressions on their faces that they had big plans for my guidelines. I couldn’t wait to see the result. To be honest, sometimes I design lessons with these two in mind because they are always good entertainment. Not always fun for the family, though. Generally PG 13, but sometimes R-rated and even X-rated, but since I’m the only one in the class that can understand them (including the Japanese English teacher most of the time) the students don’t know exactly what they’ve said, only that it was enough to bring tears of laughter to my eyes or to make me cut them off mid-sentence or mid-word and say, “Okaayyyyy, thank you very much, Tarou and Yuuji! Next!”
After about 20 minutes or so, the higher level students started coming to where I was at the front of the class to show me the skit they’d written. Most were about shopping, purikura, baseball or karaoke. Hey Natsuko, let’s go to purikura. Sorry but I’m too tired to go to purikura. Hey Let’s go shopping. I’m so sleepy that I can’t go shopping. OK then. Some of them were pretty good, most were safe and exactly what I had asked for minus the imagination running wild part. I gave out a lot of single stamps. Only a couple of students warranted double stamps.
It was one minute until the bell and Yuuji and Tarou were still at it, rehearsing and re-writing. Watching them was like having a behind the scenes, behind closed doors view of a brilliant comedy team like Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance or Jay and Silent Bob, or even Beavis and Butthead. I would have loved to watch them a bit longer but the bell had begun to chime.
The students all returned to their seats and we closed the class as we always do with a bow and a roar of “Arigatou gozaimashita!” As I collected my materials to head for the teacher’s office, a little disappointed that they hadn’t finished in time, here came Yuuji and Tarou.
“Loco sensei, Ima chotto yatte mo ii?” (Can we do it now?) Tarou asked.
“Osoku natta deshou?” (A little late aren’t you?)
“Yoroshiku onegai shimasu…” (please…) Yuuji sang/pled.
“Ja, douzo” (Alright, go ahead) I said like I wasn’t eager to see it.
They faced each other, hands free, having committed the conversation to memory:
Yuuji: Hey Keiko-chan, let’s make love tonight.
Tarou/Keiko: Sorry Yuuji-sama, but my pussy is too hurt to make love tonight.
Yuuji: Oh, I see. That’s too bad.
Tarou/Keiko: How about anal sex?
Yuuji: That sounds like fun but your ass is so tight that my big dick can’t get in.
Tarou / Keiko: Ok, I understand.
Yuuji: How about a blowjob?
Tarou:Keiko: Oh yes, That sounds wonderful!
Then, Tarou looked cravingly down at Yuuji’s crotch and licks his lips. He was about to kneel when I grabbed him and said, “just go get your books so I can stamp them!”
I gave them both double stamps of course. I know I probably shouldn’t be encouraging the dirty English but I’m just so damn proud of how they’ve grasped the language, I’d hate to be party to anything that discourages them in any way.