Friday, July 14, 2006


French class and English Circle today. Gonna see if I can't snag some photos of my students doing their thang.

I also took a picture of my new culinary addiction. Will blog that one later.

How are you doing on the Einstein puzzle (see previous post)?

UPDATE: I forgot my own schedule. We had a French class today, but the English Circle doesn't meet until next week. It's an every other week thing.

The students were supposed to have invited some 35-year-old European exchange student today; his name is Alex, and one student said he's from Italy. He didn't show up for French class (I'm told he speaks French and a few other languages); I spoke with him briefly on the phone, and he seems like a friendly enough dude, but who knows? He might be a freak. No one's actually seen him.

Back story: I had recommended to my students that they find some native English speakers to join our English Circle, because I didn't think it would be a good idea for them to listen only to me the entire time. One student told me last week that she'd found someone through a Smoo-based message board; correspondence led to phone calls, and that led to today's botched attempt at getting Alex to come to our class. Alex was originally supposed to attend only the English Circle, but because he's a francophone, he'd also wanted to sit in on the French class.

There was some confusion about today, however, and Alex apparently couldn't make it. When I spoke with him on the phone (in English), I had some trouble hearing him through the poor connection-- perhaps a signal problem. He told me that he would come next week, but wanted my student (the one who'd met him through the message board) to send him a text message as a reminder.

Based on what I heard during our phone conversation, Alex's English isn't so hot. I'm charitably assuming that his French is much better; there's a long-running Franco-Italian joke that the French can understand Italian but can't speak it worth a damn. I wonder if the reverse is also true.

GRAMMAR NOTE: I've written on this before, but just a reminder to the unwary: when you begin a sentence with "I wonder," you're making a statement, which is necessarily in the indicative mood. One of the most egregious violators of this simple grammatical point is, believe it or not, JK Rowling, who peppers her Harry Potter novels with "I wonder if...?" Technically speaking, that question mark shouldn't be there.

Wrong: I wonder if he's going to make it?
Right: I wonder if he's going to make it.

Yeah, yeah... I know most of you don't give a flying fuck in a mouse's ass. But a man isn't a man if he doesn't rant on occasion.


No comments: