Sunday, June 24, 2007

Delusions of Invisibility

We were talking about invisibility cloaks.
As people often do…

in multi-national ESL grammar classes
(when they are not discussing conjunctions, prepositions, declining bee populations, nuclear contraception and global cucumber size standards).

The class was divided, and a civil debate raged in broken English. Half of the students believed that we would never gain the ability to make objects invisible to the human eye, while the other half claimed we already had the technology, and it was only a matter of years before exploration of the military applications decreased government masturbation time by fifty percent.

I, of course, being the objective teacher, sat straddling the proverbial wooden fence. I moderated, asked provocative questions of each side and poked holes in faulty arguments, pausing only occasionally to pluck fence splinters from my crotch.

I was in Teachers’ Paradise. You’ve heard of the place, I’m sure. It’s a mythical land of plenty where critical thinking skills play games of lacrosse with social skills, and hillsides of curiosity sing with the laughter and debate of mentally inquisitive students. Newly gained knowledge seeps into lively conversation, and beneath every tree of suggestion, new ideas sprout.

I tell you, it was spectacular. Assertions and rebuttals made in the Future Perfect Continuous Tense were flying around like child porn round a minister’s hard drive, and Conditional Passives were mobilizing more quickly than child therapists round a military base.

But, even the finest persimmon rots.

And when I returned from skipping through the knowledge field of flowers in my day-dreamed Teachers’ Paradise, I was forced to hear the REAL discussion going on in my classroom. At that moment, I was flogged by a splintered plunger handle of reality, and any engorged pride I once had in my own teaching skills was immediately deflated.

“If I be indivisible tomorrow, it’s means every soldiers can’t feel me. He don’t touch me and I can murder him not justice.”

“Yes. And I think by 2050, we will have been being make indivisibility by government. This we will have been become a lot of dangerous.”

What? So much for my perceived idyllic debate of logic and insight, and so much for my sanity…

While I thought we were talking about the scientific possibility and potential ramifications of creating a Harry Potter-style Invisibility cloak, we were in fact discussing whether or not humans could be chopped up and divided into little pieces by the government and ‘touched’ and ‘felt’ by soldiers.

Hmmm. Yup, it’s time to call the Nuthouse recruiters. We have yet another delusional ESL teacher to catch.

P.S. For the record: I don’t exaggerate the English skill of my students for comedic purposes. I don’t have to. They really talk like this.

Plus, I've met a few native English speakers who dream of this level of literacy.

And, although they are patriots, these honest souls are still not quite sure if their nation is indivisible, invisible, miserable, commiserable or even liveable...


dingobear said...

I don't know if I'm intrigued or afraid of your students' futuristic thinking.

-c, I think you should make yourself invisible (indivisible?) by going on a vacation!

Cap'n Rich said...

O' Lord have mercy!

I don't remember when I have laughed so hard in the middle of the night

This is one of your all time best, you crazy coot you.

How I long to be in one of your classes!

Hahahahahahahaha, ad infinitum.

frustrated writer said...

I often have wished I could be invisible for several reasons that would include raiding the ice cream truck or even allowing me peeking privileges into intimate scenes of politicians working through budgets or bills (you know they don't spend all of that time in there just crunching numbers, right?). But your students seem to have a much more urgent need for this application. That is rather sad since stealing an ice cream bar from the ice cream truck seemed to be a hideous act in itself. Sigh.

-c said...

dingobear- Yeah, I'm ready for a little vacationing invisibility. The travel bugs have been caged for too long.

cap'n rich- Not sure this post deserves the ad infinitum ha ha's, but thanks:) And, I would love to have you in my class. Your crazy stories would be almost as ridiculous and entertaining as the students' linguistic faux pas. You're welcome to join. How about next Wednesday?

frustrated- I'm shocked. Are you suggesting that politicians fiddle around with more than just numbers behind closed doors?! Why that's a blasphemous lie- the kind of lie told only by malicious popsicle thieves without consciences!

Cap'n Rich said...

Can't make it on Wednesday. That's the day I report to my parole officer. I'll get Paris to see what she can do about it.

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