16 November 2008

A Tested Cure to Economic Woes

With the elections in Canada last month and America this month, and notable lack of elections in Japan, I thought it would make a timely lesson, steal David Suzuki's idea of "If YOU were Prime Minister". I asked my Ichiko 3rd years [grade 12s] to write short essays on the topic, picking any world issue they like and giving a creative solution.

If YOU were Prime Minister...

Before this though, we brain-stormed. Each group contributed problems like war, racism, global warming, (etc.) and two groups gave the current economic crisis as their number one issue. We wrote this on the white board, switched up the groups and assigned them a problem.

The groups stood up one by one and gave intelligent, if not somewhat safe answers. Then it was group number four's turn -- one of the two groups in the class assigned to singlehandedly correct the worst economic crisis in human history.

A hush fell over the LL room as group group four's janken-chosen leader stood up to deliver what no doubt would be a stirring and memorable address.

Her: "Colony!"

The class erupted in laughter.

Me: [WTF?] "Uhhhhh... umm... *teeth suck* Okay, colonies." I wrote it on the white board with a big fat '?' beside it.

Not so PC, especially given early 20th century history. But then, last class I hard a girl give her solution to ALL problems, suggesting that she should be the benevolent God Emperor of the whole world using fear and violence to enact a terrible peace.

But, I turn around and hoping they'll at least choose a funny place to colonize like Switzerland or the Falkland Islands. So, I say, "Colonies. Okay, for example?"

Her (without thinking): "Taiwan!"

My mouth hung open. More laughter from students, but this time all of it uncomfortable.

Then the JTE pipes in and says, "Sensei, I think she meant 'block economy'."

Me: "Ohhhhhhh..."

Since everyone laughed to begin with, apparently EVERYONE heard this as "colony" too, but what she was really suggesting is an amiable bilateral partnership with Japan's formerly colonized-neighbour. :O Sweet Jesus!

1 comment:

Gorrozolla said...

Har har. But then the Chinese would be even more angry with Japan. Anyway. I am also experiencing the worst Asthma of my life. I have some cortical steroids though so its getting better. Good stuff too. Just like I get in Canada :) except WAY cheaper.