Sunday, April 01, 2012

advances in education

When I studied French, we memorized a horrible poem about an ant and a grasshopper and phrases like, "Mom, please bring me a bowl of coffee" (according to our textbook, French teenagers were served coffee in bed by the bowlful by their doting French mothers).  Never did we learn any phrases that seemed realistic.  When I studied Russian in college, my favorite serving suggestion phrase which we memorized was "Since I was a child, I dreamed of working on a collective farm."  One of this blog's readers enchantingly remembered that she'd had to memorize that same phrase as a budding Russian student.  Fun as it was to say, that sentence didn't seem to have any potential for helpfulness.

I'm happy to report to all of you that at Iris uber Alles's progressive private school, the first year  Japanese curriculum is much more practical.  Glancing over a page of Iris's work, I saw that she had been assigned to translate  the phrase, "My ex-husband is an attorney."  "Now there's a useful phrase," I thought.  Many of Iris's classmates will be able to use that, assuming they move to Japan after their divorces.


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hughman said...

when i studied French in school, we read this totally useful book called "The Monster in The Metro".

also my favorite French bit of dialogue (that i obviously still remember over 30 years later) was :

Ou est Sylvie?
A la piscine.
Aven qui?
Avec ANNE. (for some reason Anne was always practically shouted out in a gruff voice like she had a bad reputation)

the Drunken Housewife said...

Thank you, dear Rox. You are a darling to me!

the Drunken Housewife said...

Hughman, your teacher probably had a traumatic rivalry with an Anne in her past...

Anonymous said...


El burro sabe mas que tu.

Cecilia said...

In tenth grade I took first year French--the book worked first just on pronunciation, without accompanying text. The phrase that sticks with me til today (30+ years later)... "Moi, je bois de whiskey"

Still waiting for a chance to use it.