Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Luna Lovegood is real

For those who don't know the reference, Luna Lovegood is a character who pops up in the fifth book of the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which I reviewed, rather goofily, here). Luna is odd even by Wizarding standards: she has madly popping eyes, believes in all sorts of nonexistent creatures, and says bizarre things at the strangest moments. You've probably met people like Luna Lovegood: they're sweet, but they try your patience with their uncanny inability to find and follow a natural life-cadence.

Enter Miss Bae: my very own Luna Lovegood at EC.

Miss Bae's been coming to class for a while now, and her adorability's finally worn off. She's got the bug eyes, the slack lips, and the beyond-Mars demeanor. It was cute, at first, to hear that she's a Catholic with a deep interest in Hinduism. But after she pestered me for the third goddamn time about whether I'd read Conversations with God, I was starting to get annoyed.

She's begun to ignore the lesson plan in favor of asking a ton of completely irrelevant grammar questions in what appears to be a haphazard attempt to learn English her own way. Questions simply pop into her mind and out of her mouth-- a sure sign that very little brain processing is occurring. While I'm not particularly keen on EC's methodology, it at least has the virtue of structure. During my pedagogical linguistics courses, we never seriously discussed "unstructured learning" as a viable approach or method for mastering a foreign language. Perhaps Miss Bae thinks she can simply wing it.

My morning partner and I are racking our brains over what to do with our loon. We're probably going to compromise and allow her to do half-lessons, in order to give her more time, during our sessions, for free talking. In fact, my partner proposed something like this to Miss Bae today, but she started whining that she wants to get through the textbook quickly, not slowly. Miss Bae seems unable to grasp that she can't have it both ways: if she's hoping to finish the book quickly, she's going to have to focus on it.

Ah, fuck it. It's her money. If she cares about her own learning, she'll take the time to listen to her teachers' advice, instead of insulting my partner by constantly saying, "I'm older than you"-- something J told me Miss Bae's been saying the past few lessons. Miss Bae doesn't try that shit with me, either because I'm older than her or because I'm loud and outweigh her by 130 pounds.

I hate to say it, but I took grim satisfaction in Miss Bae's announcement this morning that she'd just been fired from her music teaching job. Maybe she won't be able to pay for more lessons...?


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