Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Strange happenings I guess

One of the things I. Just. Don't. Understand. is why the schools here want us to plastic wrap all the kid's books. You know that adhesive clear plastic stuff librarians love so much? The stuff that will end in a landfill and which has a half life rivaling a radioactive atom? Mactac I think its called...

They want me to spend I know not how long finding this crap, then probably longer entombing my children's every text book in it, which I may add I OWN as I had to PURCHASE them for an OUTRAGEOUS amount of money.....(think around 600 dollars total)

I think the premise is that we can then reuse the books for younger children when they get there, but I am reliably informed that they change the textbooks slightly every year so you need a new one anyway.

I have not done it yet, and I am daring them to approach my anarchistic immigrant *ss and tell me too.....

*maniacal laughter Bwahahahahahaha*

On a similar note, Eldest's teacher wanted to have an urgent meeting with us. (MACTAC????) Now urgent meetings with your student's teacher fills any parent's heart, not to say lower digestive tract, with a certain wobbliness and wateriness...(coining new English words here every moment).

Turns out that all is well. He wanted to let us know that eldest will be getting two hours a week extra help with Catalan, plus two hours a week for sums, you know those boring math problems you have to do endlessly until you are fairly solid at it, and also for...hmmmm how do I translate this....social and natural studies I guess. Thought I think that is mostly Catalan vocab....Her teacher also said that she is very good at mental math. Will wonders never cease.

He said she was a delightful and lovely person and he is happy to teach her. No surprise to her doting parents. He also said that she is well motivated in some subjects but in others he needs to be (literal translation here) 'vigilant' as in on her back to get the work done. Again not a stunning surprise to her still doting parents. He mentioned, so that we wouldn't worry, that most kids need to be stood over from some subjects - I refrained from emitting a long drawn out 'duuuuuuuuhhhhhh, like, say...........after school extra English classes?' But he is a very nice man who I like a lot, so I smiled and nodded.

Ha! Third off topic ramble.

The other day I was in the bakers at a mere 8am when a man in there, a complete stranger turned to me and said, 'Es la segona (something I couldn't understand) que B*tch!'....And I think...'It is the second....I have no idea...that man just called me a b*tch!! at 8am!!!!! in my local bakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No.....he could not have possibly called me a b*tch at this hour of the day....OK, smile and nod...

So I did.

There I am nodding and smiling "Si...si....si...." Meanwhile thinking to myself...."yes yes yes, your right I am a b*tch....Am I really agreeing with this in public at this hour on a Monday morning? What the h*ll did he say??????????"

I eventually figured it out when he went on....he was telling me that this was the second time today he had seen me. Earlier I was out walking the dog. All true.

The word for to see in whatever the heck tense he was using sounds just like b*tch...I had a good laugh later and told the story to lots of folks...all of us laughing except some of my fellow English teachers for whom it hit a little close to home.

Beach - b*tch.....

sh*t - sheet.....

Which is which.

I told them English swear words tend to be the deeper vowel sounds, if the vowel is sitting right up behind your teeth, that is probably OK to say.

One of the friends who was just visiting us told us that in high school, she had a math teacher who had a strong accent, and whenever there was a test, he would hand out a package of full-scap paper to the front student in every row telling them to, "take a sh*t and pass it back."

*snort*

OK, I'll try for something less base tomorrow....

4 comments:

Beth said...

Great post. I'm still laughing at the "anarchistic immigrant *ss" bit!

Trish said...

Hahaha

You rebel you! Imagine...holding out with that mactac? Don't forget to write when you are in prison...

Helen said...

In my day (so long ago!!) we used brown paper to wrap books which had the advantage that you can then scribble on it. Left over wallpaper was also very popular. I have used plastic jackets - which aren't stuck on in libraries - for a few cherished books that I want to keep nice I admit. However they really do make a difference in libraries.

Another problem of course is that what the Brits regard as a bad language the North Americans may not and vice versa. I couldn't believe my ears the first time I heard "bugger" in a US tv programme before the watershed. "What did he say??' Clearly it doesn't mean the same as in Britain. And that's before you get into the rubber/eraser, fanny and the chances for jumping in with both feet are endless.

oreneta said...

Beth: Glad you liked it, I sat down with nothing in my head at all, and look what happened....geez. I am an uppity immigrant b*tch anyway...

Trish: I promise to write if they don't make me saran wrap it first

Helen: I have faint memories of kids with books wrapped in brown paper. They were fun, cause you could draw on them, and if you were clever, you could re-wrap other books and bring those into school instead.... I thought I would hear from either you or Boo, the librarian knock wouldn't go by. In Canada they are not as wild about it, but as you may guess, every book in the library is covered here. I wonder if they have special courses on book wrapping in their masters of Library Science course. No, bugger doesn't carry nearly the same weight once it has swum the Atlantic to NA...must be a shock though.