Monday, May 29, 2006

Vocabulary Building

As class began, SexPlayer approached me with a new word on his mind. “Service parlor,” he blurted out. I’m not sure exactly what he meant, but my best guess wasn’t too savory.

For students without inklings for English, it’s tough to find something both educational (even marginally so) and that keeps their attention (and mine). Thank goodness for the word association game. It’s my go-to activity whenever I have ten minutes to kill, or have lost patience trying to teach the textbook. Please allow me to introduce it to you.

Hello, class. Do you know the word association game? Okay then, watch me, please. S-c-h-o-o-l [I write it on the board]. School means gakko desu ne? Okay, now what is in a school? Students, teacher, class…or…desk! Okay, d-e-s-k. What is desk? Chair or…wood! Okay, w-o-o-d! Wood is…brown, tree…. Do you understand? Okay, okay, let’s play now.

The rules are simple, and the results interesting. Here are some teacher-vetoed associations students (read: boys) came up with:

  • speak…mouth…smoke
  • needle…HIV
  • pie…meat pie…cherry pie…cherry boy
  • toys
  • wedding…baby…six nine [69]…mother…Meg Ryan…children…Mr. ChildrenMichael Jackson

Shrimp…lobster…crab prompted Me Too Pants Dropper to make lewd clawing gestures while pointing to girls. Another boy tried to make an association from that by crying, “Let’s play masturbation!” Me Too Pants Dropper pointed and fired back, “Masturbation boy!” I desperately tried to divert their one-track minds to words I could write on the board. Like “winter.” But Me Too Pants Dropper heard “wiener,” and yelled out “meatball.”

A tamer class started the game with “school” and followed it with “teacher…student….” The final two words before the bell rang were “danger…landmine.” By the law of syllogism, school is a landmine. At Kanokita, teachers already know to tread with caution.

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