Whilst they are thankfully rare, there are times when students manage to genuinely put the fear of God into us. Principally out of desperation, I recently implemented a new strategy to try to keep my pupils' wandering attention away from Biggy Brother Brasil 10 and/or Carnival-themed pornography and firmly fixed on the task at hand, which, if they haven't already forgotten, is learning Engleeesh.
It involves me sending them a text message three times a week with a simple question in English, normally with a model reply of my own. They then respond, presuming they have enough credit, which seems to be becoming an issue for at least 50% of the class.
In reply to my enquiry, "What did you have for lunch today?", I received the following:
"I HAVE WHO MEET A BEUTIFUL CAT" (uppercase letters his own)
Unable to see an obvious connection, and considering correcting him practically impossible, I lamely replied, "Good for you!", imagining that he was translating literally the word "gata" (cat), which round these parts may be employed to refer to a foxy lady. This theory was quickly dismissed as we pressed on with our encrypted communications:
"It is dark and smelly," he stated, directly from leftfield.
I simply couldn't find any words to respond to this, so I sent him a winking emoticon ;-) for lack of any other constructive option.
If he was still referring to the foxy lady, she certainly wasn't sounding quite so beutiful any more, and objectifying her by using the word "it" was a can of worms I wished to maintain firmly shut.
"TODAY I HAD SPAGHETTI," he finally shouted back, causing me to almost weep with relief.
I think it was Yazz who once made the wise observation, "The Only Way Is Up".