This, above all:

This, above all: To be God's best for The Coach and for Anna

Monday, May 08, 2006

Class Struggle 101

This is my third summer teaching Business Writing and Presentation to incoming management seniors at a nearby university. I love teaching, except the part where I have to grade papers: I discovered that if I leave the papers stacked on top of each other, they breed overnight.

The Coach sometimes yields to my insistence that he help me check papers. But you cannot get the imp out of The Coach. In one exam, I asked my students to define the word stoke. One guy rather desperately, answered: Past tense of stick, he he he. Not to be outdone, The Coach wrote back in glorious red ink: You're wrong! He he he.

There are times when I get thoroughly stumped: what to do, for instance, when your student defines alternate as something like one, it's blue, two, it's white; three, it's blue, four, it's white; next, it's blue, then it's white--about six pairs of blue and white. The Coach, champion of the oppressed, pleaded on the boy's behalf, "Sige na, give him the point. He knows the answer naman."

One of my students this summer is wonderfully creative. The topic this afternoon was conciseness in writing. I encouraged them to omit needless words and to use verbs instead of nouns or adjectives for crisper, snappier language. How, for instance, can they shorten the phrase expressing yourself well by means of the written word?

"What's the one-word equivalent?" I asked them. "I'm looking for a verb."

"Expressing!" a guy in the middle row said.

I was actually looking for the verb writing. "Okay," I said. "But what's even shorter than that?"

"Express!" another student said.

"Shorter," I said.

Silence.

"One word, one verb that's shorter?" I prompted. "Anyone?"

And someone from the back answered, her voice clear but trailing towards the end. "Ex?" she said.

Siyanga naman.

15 comments:

sairo said...

for a moment there, i almost felt like i miss teaching and checking papers. buti na lang natauhan ako agad.

janet said...

Dapat! =) I'd like for you to have that writing time. Pabayaan mo 'yung mga students mo. You need some Sairo-time. Enjoy your weekend getaway!

KV said...

Hahahahahahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

hi mum. crush ko si escudero, at si fpj ang presidente ko. :)

janet said...

Hey anak! Talaga? Crush mo si Escu?

migraine_man said...

OMG!!! You're one of us now!!! :D Great Wall of Chinaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! :)

janet said...

Dareeeyoh! Yeah. Blogging now. =) Yes, please, Great Wall of China tayo next year! Saving up na for our trip.

KV said...

Sama ako sa Chinaaa!!! Hmmm, but can I still do my JapEn pose there? :p

janet said...

Sama ka, KVs, with your JapEn pose. The more, the many-er. Heh. =) Pero backpacking 'to, ha?

ayen said...

You know, you and Jea should swap (if you haven't yet already) how-I-almost-killed-another-student stories. ",

janet said...

Oo nga, I should talk to Jea. I actually *adore* my students! =) But I told them to be nice to me; otherwise I'll write about them in my blog! Heh.

REMwastrel said...

Janet! I've linked you. Great to know you have a blog. Will be visiting you frequently. :) - Ginny

janet said...

Gins, hi! Linking you, too. Tuloy ka sa Dumaguete?

Michelle said...

waahhh! i suddenly miss going to school (as a student, not a teacher)

janet said...

fun to go to school, michelle! but can be taxing, too, esp when i still have house chores to do when i get home.