Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm going to name my style: it is called the My New Style is Your New Style Style. Alternatively, it could be called, "I hope this doesn't feel good"

or also "it pains me."

I have a new student who really really wants to talk about condoms. He's 28. I fear that his presence in the class will mean that I have one overwrought young man too many. They all came to California because they thought it was warm all the time and they could go to the beach and meet girls. It's cold now. Too cold for the beach, and most of them don't live near the beach, and getting to the beach takes an hour on the bus, even though it's only five miles from their house. They are overwrought and lack the ability to pay attention to detail. None of them even bought a guidebook before coming here. They didn't look up the weather, they didn't even really research where Oceanside is located. No one gave them any useful advice before they arrived and it didn't ever occur to them that studying English in California would NOT be like starring in an episode of the OC.

In general, I like and respect my students, but I'm having trouble doing that this month. I don't respect them. I want to, but they need to give me some indication that they are thinking. I feel like everything I say to them is a disappointment: they're so fragile. "California is cold. No, not all women are sluts. No, there is no street life in Oceanside. No, you will probably never have the opportunity to go to a house party while you are here. No, the public transportation is terrible. No, you can't go to a club until you are 21. No, there aren't really any clubs to go to. No, the water here is cold all year round. No, the weather isn't nice here in May and June--it's cloudy and overcast every day" etc....

I'm nostalgic for my DC students, who were, in general, tough, polite, funny and independent.

I'm in a pissy mood, so I'm not going to conclude this post with my usual sympathetic counter argument about how my students really are OK sometimes.

1 comment:

e g g s h e l l - o r c h e s t r a said...

hey there, i'm trying to get in touch with you about organizing a west-coast release party for the Outside Voices anthology. i've got a few "visual poems" in there and i noticed many of the other authors live in CA>> I myself am in AZ. get in touch with me-- grace
egvajda at gmail dot com