Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Student Trauma

Stefan from Budapest:

Today 10-year old Stefan from Budapest gave the most elaborate excuse for having not done his English homework that I have ever encountered in all my teaching experience. It began with his recounting the story of an epic face-first dive into the snow, which involved a terrible skidding motion that embedded ice into his face; the story next described a cruelly insensitive father, who failed to treat his facial wounds properly; in fact, it sounded as if the father had been trying to permanently scar him by roughly trying to scrape the ice and snow off his face. It must have healed quickly though because Stefan's face appeared as radiantly fresh and earnest as ever under his spiky hair. The terrible tale next involved the loss and mix-up of almost all of his school papers, a disqualified homework assignment that he was forced to redo, and finally a mistaken swap in which he took the wrong person's bag home and left his own behind. With such an exhausting and traumatic week behind him, how could one blame the boy for having not written his descriptive paragraph? He pulled his worksheets out from his bag (thankfully intact and in the same order that I gave them to him last week) and set to work.

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