Anything Involving Tongues Is Okay By Me

We were awakened the other morning by the sound of a man shouting outside our door. He was hollering at the housemaids in the lodge, saying that they needed to work more quickly.  Or something.  I wasn't really attending to his message, merely his volume.  The sun was streaming through our small chamber's window, and we really should have had our butts out of bed by that hour, but we were on a mini-vacation, and so sleeping in a bit was the order of the day. 

I grabbed the white terrycloth robe provided to me as a guest, and covered my naked body.  You may recall that though I have many nice pieces of lingerie, I sleep in the buff.  I did not think it wise to open my door that way, though.  While I've recently become more proud of my appearance thanks to the compliments of a few lovely men, I am not insensitive to community standards, and this was not a nudist colony.  So I was garbed in the lodge's raiments when I stepped out of the room to give him THE LOOK.  It was the one I learned in graduate school when I was training to become an elementary school teacher.  But it was a cross training strategy, equally useful in secondary school and regular life, to quell inappropriate behaviour.  Shouting outside my door, with its DO NOT DISTURB sign clearly on display, has consequences.  One risks THE LOOK with such acts.

He was a tall white man with a friendly face, but he looked frustrated.  This was not a mean man, the fellow who managed the housemaids.  He was simply at his wits end as he tried to communicate with the small Chinese twenty-somethings that they needed to chop chop.  Mind you, he did not actually use those words, but I can't help thinking they may have been useful.  The language barrier was raised high betwixt manager and maids, and I surmised he'd fallen into the trap of figuring if he raised his voice, they might better understand him.  A very nice Italian couple had done that with me once as I sought directions from them on how to get on the road to the Dolomites as I was departing Venice.  Their louder words did not help, for the record.  But the guy beside them who spoke French did.  I thanked God for my former French teacher's lessons, wondering if she realized how her teaching would pay off someday.

I was reminded of the incident yesterday, as I watched some friends perform The Tempest.  Hopefully, I'd have a better relationship with my students than poor Miranda had.

MIRANDA
Abhorrèd     slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes
With words that made them known. But thy vile race,
Though thou didst learn, had that in ’t which good natures
Could not abide to be with. Therefore wast thou
Deservedly confined into this rock,
Who hadst deserved more than a prison


CALIBAN
You taught me language, and my profit on ’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!


It's funny how different things keep happening that remind me of my plan to do some coursework for ESL certification.  That's English as a Second Language for those of you who are not teachers.  It's also referred to as ELL certification; English-Language Learner certification, depending on who's granting it.  It's good stuff, this program of study to prepare teachers to deal with a classroom chockful of a plethora of immigrants who speak a wide variety of languages.  One does not learn their multitudes of languages, but rather learns how to teach English to those who know other languages already.  In my area, there are schools with dozens of foreign students, representing many nations.  So there are job opportunities here as well as abroad. 

I'd considered getting certified back when my husband was drinking heavily, figuring it would make me more marketable.  Then he went into rehab, so I eased back on the throttle, shifting into mostly-stay-at-home-mom mode once more.  But thee days, I'm reconsidering.  My kids are older, and I am eager to attain my financial independence.  This could be a really good thing for me to do.  And it would make me an attractive candidate for an overseas teaching job as well, teaching English to non-native speakers.

The manager caught my look, THE LOOK, and realized he'd been too loud.  There was that flash of guilty recognition in his face.  But he played dumb.  "Can I help you with anything?" he asked innocently. 

"Yes, my dear," I said.  "Be a bit more quiet, please.  We are still sleeping."  I gave him a smile to soften the message. 

He apologized and promised to keep it down.  "I'm having a hard time talking to these girls, making them understand," he said.  "They are just here for two weeks, to work on the rest of their visas before they return to China."  

"Ah," I said, "that must be a challenge for all of you."  I spied a  couple of pillows on the housemaid's cart and asked her "May I have two extra pillows, please?"  She looked blank.  I tilted my head sideways while placing my hands together in the ancient prayer posture, slipping them under the side of my head.  "Pillows," I said.  Then I held up 2 fingers.  "Two, please."  She brightened and fetched me the pillows.

I'm going to look into the ESL program.  While I want to make a fortune with my novel series and screenplay/play script, the truth is that it doesn't hurt to have some marketable skills to pay the bills. 
milkynips milkynips
46-50, F
Sep 15, 2012