Apparently threats have been made against my life over this squirt gun policy. One of my second graders tells me this while we wait for the speech competition on fire safety to begin. I say, ‘let them try to kill me,’ she says she hit them for me.
Y’all are cute but, uh, you’re at a small town girls’ middle school wearing a uniform, it’s not like I got water on your designer jackets and perms.
On the subject of fire safety, my student got first place, although it really wasn’t a fair fight for the other two contestants. They wrote their own speeches. And their teacher got confused about dates, so they were thrown in the car yesterday afternoon without advanced notice after I called their foreign teacher to find out where they were.
In the speech I was told to write for my student, I made an effort to choose language that it’s reasonable to think she could use, just with better grammar and organization. I worried it would sound weird, too obviously something that she just memorized and recited. She did a good job, though, and I’m pretty sure she did understand what she was saying.
But certain speech writers had elementary girls talking about Ictheus stealing fire from Zeus (not exactly sure what I heard), and using words like “foe.” There were some real gems. I should have written them down at the time. It was hard not to laugh. One girl, I thought she was going to talk about forest fires, but then told this convoluted story about being cold in her apartment because of a bad smell that wouldn’t go away that had to do with a towel left on the stove, apparently for days, but didn’t catch to building on fire. No, maybe it was a pot and the towel was from a different story.
Koreans also have this speech giving voice that I’ve now heard college students down to elementary kids use that in no way bears any resemblence to the intonation that fluent English speakers from any country or mother language ever use. And Koreans don’t use it in conversation, only speeches and plays. I don’t know where they get it from, but it is fraught with melodrama.
Oh, and in my speech, with a certain recklessness, I decided that the man careless of fire safety would kill his entire family.