Thursday, January 24

34

Bye bye nameless students who I care very little about.

Yesterday the worst of any of my classes had their last lesson and I made a small impromptu speech about how I wish them well in the future and hope that they enjoyed their school lives. I wondered whilst stood in front of them if they could tell that I had no interest in being there whatsoever and didn't care about any of them at all. 

Harsh words, I know, but I really don't. No connections were made, none of them stood out, inspired me or touched my soul in some day-time TV show kind of way. I've literally been phoning it in for the last 3 months; I realised that no amount of encouragement, creativity, or enthusiasm will ever be enough to get these kids to take an interest in communicating in English.

It's not just the students and me who don't care, the teachers are totally exam orientated and not at all communications orientated. The whole year with these students has been about memorizing by rote learning and then repeating those phrases within very discrete contexts.

These students are going to go on to be shop keepers, beauticians and factory workers, 7 years of English classes was an absolute waste of time for them, and they knew it too.

I watched a film the other day called Survive Style 5, a Japanese film that was beautiful but also pointless and schizophrenic to boot. Vinnie Jones was in the film and played a hitman who would ask his prey a existential question before offing them; 

"What is your function in life?"

If they could answer satisfactorily then he wouldn't kill them; as I stood in front of those kids, lying from my back teeth about how proud they have made me and how much I enjoyed their skits, I wondered how I would escape being killed by Vinnie when he asked me what my purpose was and I answered:

"I repeat phrases from a text book and encourage others to repeat them back to me in the hope that one day those phrases will be of use to those people, but fully aware all along, that they won't."

So, yesterday was my last class with 34 Homeroom and today my last with 33 Homeroom, the end of a reciprocal relationship where we're both the most inconsequential thing in each other's lives.

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