Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sarcasm Part III - In Spanish

I explained earlier how after careful thought and consideration (and the fact that no one else agreed to do it) I got to teach a non-special education, bilingual geometry class.

It goes something like this- I explain something in English, someone translates it into Spanish. Everyone laughs.
What I said was not funny in English.
So I translate it into Spanish.
Everyone laughs again.

Now I am sure they are talking about me.
Is this how non-English speaking kids feel in English classes?
I think  I am getting paranoid.

It would be unpleasant- except it isn't.  This group is the sweetest one I have.
They arrive one at a time (everyone in our school does- punctuality is a lost art).
We sit in semi-circle (all ten of us- my special ed tradition extended into the bilingual classroom). And each entrant comes in stops at each desk and if male - kisses all the girls and shakes the hands of all the boys, if female- kisses everyone.

Except me.
I am sad.
Why am I not worthy of handshakes and kisses?

I ask.
Everyone laughs.  I must be a very funny teacher.

Friday we are working on a group of problems finding the missing angles in a polygon.
Sr. Alto, a quiet, tall Dominican young man who earned his name because he often arrives before the kissing cycle which results in him being asked to reach the folders stored on top of the locker, has worked through the first set.  Carla is holding his papers in one hand and writing away on her own paper with the other.

I suggest she try the problems herself.
"No Miss,"  I show him how to do it, now I write what I tell him".

"Oh, and I fell off the turnip cart, yesterday."
I try to translate that one- but quickly realize I have no idea how to say turnip in Spanish.
And the sarcasm is lost in translation.

So the period goes on. I lose the page on the Smart Board once, accidentally erase the writing twice, and trip over the wires three times. (a typical day- did I mention how much I miss my chalkboard?)

There is another set of problems to work out, Sr. Alto is working away.
Carla not so much.

I ask if she is again explaining to him how to do it.

She turns and asks the assistant in the back of the room, "Como se dice.... (how do you say?)

The best the assistant can offer, is "lies".

"No, that's not it," she replies, frustrated.

"Sarcasm?"  I offer.


"Very good,"  Violeta offers, "Now you understand our Spanish!"

Time to look up the Spanish work for turnip!

Sarcasm Part I and II here and here

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