Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dark Side Of The Jun



Occasionally, as you might imagine, I ask my students questions.

Occasionally, as you might imagine, the responses are quite funny. Most of the time unintentionally.

Enter Jun: a 54 year-old businessman who works 6-days a week as an accountant at a plastic packing firm. He likes jazz music and opera.

I’m not sure he’s suited to this school, however; Shane’s adult textbooks contain roleplays encouraging students to practise dialogue in conversational settings and Jun’s your quintessential “salaryman”; very serious and very rarely willing to enter into the spirit of the exercises.

In advance of Jun’s lesson, I usually flip through the textbook muttering to myself:

“No...he won’t do that....or that.....or this.....”

Or

“....and what’s this exercise? Ask the student to pretend to be a famous rock star while you pretend to be an interviewer asking questions in the present perfect tense? Not. A. Chance”

One on occasion, however, I did manage to prise out of him that he greatly admired opera singer Maria Callas. Great, I thought, there’s an exercise in this lesson about asking questions in the simple present - with a little adaptation this could work.

“So, Jun” I said “Think about the tense we’ve been discussing – the simple present. If you met your heroine, Maria Callas, at a party and had the opportunity to ask one question and one question only, what would it be?”

He stared off into the middle distance for a second, lost in thought. Then he said: “What is your favourite food?”

Brilliant. I bet she’d be bowled over by that. Imagine how that would play out:

Maria’s Friend: Maria, there is a man here who is a big fan of yours. You simply must meet him. This is Jun.

Maria: Hello Jun. It’s nice to meet you.

Jun: What is your favourite food?

Maria: Oh...I don’t know......fettuccine?

Jun: OK. Bye.


I did consider titling this post “Jun The Turd”, but despite it being a rather witty pun, I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I really have warmed to him.

Especially since today he confessed that after work he goes out, gets hammered, goes to a hostess bar, carries on drinking until he’s on Braille, then on to a karaoke bar where he treats “many, many beautiful girls” to a special rendition of New York, New York by “Flank Sinatra”.

2 comments:

Giacomo said...

This businessman sounds like a great drinking buddy! Persuade him to take you out one night so you can regale the crowd with a cover of 'In predict a roit' by the Kaiser Chiefs.

Why did his story not contain any reference to school girl underwear?

Phil said...

His story didn't contain any reference to school girl underwear, but I have a strong suspicion he was wearing some at the time.