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Thursday, August 20, 2009

English Please!

I came into the office this morning only to be welcomed by a student who was sheepishly standing next to my table. I noticed that he was staring at a poster I pasted on my wall. The poster clearly spells out, "English Please!" The student did not look surprise to see me but he obviously had a nervous look on his face. One look at him and immediately I realized that he was one of the students who did not turn up for my Tuesday class. "So that explains the look", I murmured to myself. He greeted me with what seems to be one of his sweetest smile and I quickly gestured for him to grab a seat next to my table. He politely declined my offer and said that he has a class to attend to. I got myself seated and asked him his reason for wanting to see me. He stared at me while trying to get his words out of his mouth. With the same smile still loosely clinging to his face, he said, "madam, I am sorry... I did not come to class because..." . He stopped there. There was a long pause as I waited patiently for him to finish whatever that he had to say. It was rether annoying for me to wait as I was, at the same time, eager and curious to know what his excuse would be. I looked at him and suddenly a gush of sympathy filled my heart. His eyes were looking everywhere, signaling that his mind was frantically searching for the right words. He was scratching his head which I doubt was even itchy. He took several deep breath, pointed his finger to his teeth and blurted, "madam, my teeth is sick"! "What?", was my immediate response as I was trying to compute his words. In noticing that I was sending him my quizzical look, he attempted to simplify his explanation and said...."madam, my teeth is ill"! I was about to burst into laughter but how could I laugh in that situation? I could not laugh...NO! I could not allow myself to laugh! Not in front of my student. Not when my student had actually tried his best to converse with me in English. I appreciated his effort though his honesty was deemed questionable. I somehow managed a smile...and reminded him not to miss his class again. I briefly advised him to see a dentist about his toothache - stressing the word 'toothache' more than it required. He nodded his head and apologized once again before seeking my permission to leave. Not wanting to waste his time nor mine, I said OK and thanked him for coming to see me. The student gave me a broad smile and made his way out of the office. I reached down to switch on my PC. when I heard him muttered, "Phew...English please!" before leaving the room. Only then that I smiled to myself and said, "Yes, my dear...English Please!"

1 comment:

just me said...

hik hik hik, poor boy, but yes, you did the right thing by restraining yourself from laughing.
finally i got to read your brilliant piece again. are you able to join mine now? Have sent invitation to your gmail.