1. In one of my English lessons, the students were experimenting with pronouncing the word 'monologist' (the speaker in a monologue). None of them could get it right, because if you start the word with the stress on 'mon' as in 'monologue' the word runs away with you and the 'g' ends up as a hard 'g'.
I had an epiphany. 'Think of the Muppets theme tune,' I said.
I sang it. 'MonoloGIST, doo-doo-dah-doodoo, monoloGIST, doo-doo-doo-doo ...'
Here are the Muppets doing it.
One or two of the girls laughed. Others smiled. Some looked worried about being in the same room as me. That's a shame, because they're trapped with me until the summer exams next year.
2. I'm lucky in that our school has a proper chef to cook the lunches, so the food is usually yum-yum. But today I chose a slice of ham and some pasta salad. The pasta was nearly-raw.
Sometimes in lessons I ask students to write poems about emotions, without mentioning the emotion itself, but representing it instead in concrete images. Here is a poem I've just written. Guess the emotion.
It's a train. The back end of it
pulling out of the station
where you stand
catching your breath,
clutching your ticket
to the theatre show.
You will see the second act.
It's a huge Valentine's card
with a velvet heart on its front,
a £4.95 sticker on its back,
handwriting you don't recognise
and a promise of love
in its centre.
You see the scrawl in the corner
too late to protect yourself.
A joke, from your brother.
It's a pasta salad
with peppers, onions,
juicy dried tomato, energy
for the long afternoon
and colourful on your plate
next to the plain diet ham.
You bite. You wince.
You nudge the pasta to the edge.
The ham comes out as the winner.
Did you guess?
|'I guessed she meant 'disappointed'. Boy, I know how she feels.'|