28 November 2008

HOLY [expletive deleted]!

I was marking some papers today after some lengthy studying / Simpsons watching in the LL room. The students had to answer very basic questions like "Why do you study English?" (I gave full marks to one student who replied, "I don't know," and gave about 50 zeros for "Because I..."), "What is your favorite (sic) way to relax?" and "Why do you go to the library" (another lucky student who wrote "I don't go to the library" got full marks on this one). This is all a bit below their actual level, and all very standard.

Part two was a bit more interesting. Chains of "If I have a lot of money", [which in standard English, mind you, would use the past participle verb "had", but this is bloody Japanese textbook English], it's more like "If I have a lot of money, I would quit my job and go to Florida. If I go to Florida, I'd join NASA. If I joined NASA I'd go to the freaking moon!"

One student wrote "If have a lot of money, I would go Italy. If I go to Italy, I'd buy wine. If I have wine, I would drink it." [14 years old]

Then I got to one with the following:

I don't know if you can make out number five, but it says, "If I have a lot of money, I will enjoy playing many times (sic). If I enjoy playing many times I will buy guns. If I buy guns, I will kill everyone." HOLY CRAP! This kid would be at the police station right now in Canada.

I affixed a note onto his paper for his teacher telling her my thoughts on making a joke (I hope) about mass murder while in Mumbai the terrorist attack isn't even over yet. I didn't get to talk to the teacher, but I wonder how the school would react to it.

For those Westerners reading this who imagine threats of violence as a non-issue in Japan, Saga borders a city called Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture where four years ago a 11 year old girl slit a classmate's throat during school hours.

Anyway, either a really bad joke, or a baaaaaad sign.


Adam said...

Well, it's a good thing he DOESN'T have a lot of money. I'm finding it hard to see a misunderstanding in this. :S I can't wait to hear what the teacher has to say...

Michael said...

My guess is, they'll have nothing much to say. But, for all I know, maybe it's already dealt with.

Adam said...

Any update on this? What did the teacher say?

Michael said...

Oh he got yelled at, apparently. I assume it was the "being screamed at continuously for an hour, even after he breaks down in tears" kind of yelled at though.