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.....”
“....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”.