Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yes, I Can Use Chopsticks!

I didn't bring my laptop to school today because I was too tired this morning to pack it up, so I didn't think that I would be blogging. Well, I read something on Ryan's blog that made me laugh (as usual), and I couldn't resist posting it. It's funny because it's so true.

The teacher took a CD player into class and we listened to that as I stood there watching it. We did this for two of the classes, then in the third one the CD player wouldn't play.

At first I thought the CD player picked up on the sheer stupidity of the situation, having a foreign native English speaker standing 10 feet from this recording of native English. Anyway, it wouldn't play so the teacher panicked. We delayed class for about 10 minutes while he played with it.

I knew what he was doing, but decided not to say anything. For some reason, after lunch he became stupid. He would press play, then fast forward to the track, then press stop rather than pause. Over and over again.

Finally he turned to me and said in a sweat, "What are we going to do, the CD player won't work." Please understand the CD was only a recording of the actual text. Nothing special. The text I have in my hand.

So the only logical thing for me to say in return was "It won't work? I don't know what we can do."

This went on for about 5 more minutes until one of the bright students, or rather one of the students who would actually speak in class, spoke up and said "Ryan sensei could read the text." Finally the teacher looked at me and then the CD and then at me again and asked politely.

I said "I will try, I'm not very good at reading and speaking English, I have only been doing it for 30 something years." He looked confused so I started reading.

That's like asking a motivational speaker to come to your job and then playing a DVD of them rather than having them actually speak.


  1. What I love most about Ryan is the way he uses blatant sarcasm to secretly battle the inane stupidity with which he is faced.

  2. Yeah. My favorite is the "video tape" episode. :-)

    Him: But I thought you were going to show a video in class.
    Me: No, no. I am going to video the class. I told you earlier when you were ignoring me.
    Him: When was that?
    Me: During 6th period.
    Him: This is 6th period.
    Me: No this is 7th period. You had a class 6th period. I went fishing with Nemoto sensei.
    Him: I am confused.
    The whole episode is funny.

    I have my favorite Ryanisms at http://myrighteye.blogspot.com/2004/09/yes-i-can-use-chopsticks.html which I can't link to because html isn't allowed in comments. Sigh.

  3. I should point out, though, that it's not necessarily inane stupidity. It seems to me that virtually all the problems stem from a lack of communication. Although, actually, it may be inanely stupid to refuse to acknowledge that there is in fact a communication breakdown. So, nevermind. You're correct.