Monday, 19 November 2007

To my students, with love

Another day at school (Monday is the day: 8 periods and a brief two-hour break), with the 12th grade, whom I have been teaching for four years (I can’t believe they are going to graduate in June next year and I already feel I am going to miss them) and two groups of 9th grade (just met them – well, I met them two months ago, but they are still pretty wild; yet, I trust they will come to senses soon, like their older mates have). With the 12 graders I did two texts (reading and comprehension check) which – I hope - managed to involve them. (A native American saying goes: Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may not remember. Involve me and I’ll understand” and it makes sense.) As a teacher, this is my test in front of my students: Do I really involve them? If I dont, my class is a bore. So, the first text was about the importance of strong social ties (which apparently help people live longer, according to a survey) and the second one was about a teen who took issue with a columnist, arguing that it was unfair (on the part of that columnist) to play with stereotypes and say that teens criticize their parents, do not tidy their rooms, take drugs and are disrespectful...Whatever frustrated columnists may say and however much truth may be in their criticism of teenagers, teens alone (and nobody else but them) have a treasure that makes all the effort. Even when „corrupt”, they still look innocent and radiate a kind of halo which stands – this is how I see things, anyway – for the most precious fuel. All the rest (noise, bad language, cheekiness, non-attendance) is due to bad management on the part of the teacher. (This is how I think of the teens I teach and have taught. I know little of teens from other countries or even from other parts of my country.) If I thought otherwise I would resign at once. The salary I receive monthly isn’t an incentive for me, as a teacher.

After school I went to Iulius Mall for a short browsing (at Cărtureşti bookstore) and then to the concert hall, where I met Theodor, Raluca and Manuela and the four of us listened to six sonatas for piano and violin by Mozart (played by Melinda Meres and Adriana Bera). The hall was rather cold inside - no central heating. In fact, no heating of whatsoever. Since the audience was rather poor (less than 50), people’s breathing - however warm - didn’t do the job.