Thursday, October 20, 2011

I have no mouth and I must scream

Excuse me?

It was after my Japanese communication class and I was anxiously bobbing behind our teacher while she packed away the materials she had used during our lesson.


We weren't supposed to speak English in this course, yet I had no idea how to express "Look, I suck. I gotta go down a level." in Japanese. Although possibly my attempt at such an expression would get the idea across. I gave it a go:

"よみ... と... ききーlistening ... だいじょうぶです。あの.... はなし... むずかしいです。"

I was trying to say that reading and listening were fine but anything that came out of my mouth would make even the vocally challenged 'Hello Kitty' weep. The teacher nodded sympathetically, undoubtedly recalling the seventeen handkerchiefs she had soaked through herself after our last lesson.

"I want to go down to 'Japanese Communication I'," I said in a rush. If you speak fast enough, no one will remember what language you've used, right?

The teacher put down her folder and considered me properly. "あなた にとって 'Communication I'のクラスは やさしいすぎています。"[*]

This is where I made a fatal error. If I'd had a bit more quick witted gumption, I'd have looked at her completely blankly and maybe inquired as to why she was talking about sweet potatoes. Instead, my treacherous features showed comprehension of what she had just said. This was unfortunate since she'd just told me the class below would be too easy for me and the fact I'd understood probably confirmed she was right. My shoulders drooped.

"I am concerned that I will hold the other students back," I explained in English, taking in the now empty classroom with a wave of my hand.

Let's cut to the chase; I knew MEAN GIRL was MEAN and I hated adding to her ammunition every lesson. Not that she'd said anything to me that day, but ... but ... SHE MIGHT HAVE DONE, OK? Being bottom of a group basically sucks.

"I think you are OK here," the teacher replied, stubbornly still speaking the language I was supposed to be learning.

I nodded resignedly, but I did feel a bit better. After all, if the teacher didn't mind my stuttering attempts at the exercises, it probably was fine. There was also no doubt I'd learn more in the harder class than going back over the basics and that was rather the point of being in the language school.

... and if I keep telling myself that, I'm totally going to start believing it.

I went to lunch and plotted revenge on mankind while eating noodles.

[*] Not an exact reproduction. If I could do that, I probably wouldn't have any trouble with this course.

No comments:

Post a Comment