Essential Reading

WE know that God is an Englishman, or at least speaks English. So its important that if you don’t  speak  English naturally you should learn.  For this reason I spent many months in Nepal bearing the white man’s burden. It was  with this in mind that I have for nearly two years  been teaching lonesome immigrants who were not born with the tongue of Shakespeare, the wit of Milton, the rhythm of Wordsworth or the  lyricism of Keats. I have travelled far to Mitcham and Raynes Park hoping that some understanding of English irregular verbs will make my students passage up the great stairway to the stars just that much easier.

So I was impressed this week when  my  masters in Merton  asked me to take part in a survey which was to “contribute to the knowledge about the role of gender and sexuality in language teaching and  learning  and  will be of relevance to English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher education”

Q.In which ways have Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual issues arisen in your class.

Today is Wednesday, What was yesterday, What will it be tomorrow is a standard drill I start my lessons with. Where do LGBT(it is not a sandwich) issues come into such discussions. Is it the banana in the fruit bowl? Is this about my boarding school education? Is it the fact both teacher and student are both males? Is it the fact that because we are both married we are probably closet queens? Is it the fact that both our mothers were women? Is it the fact that both our wives are women?

It is tricky but next week I shall definitely ask Christian de Silva who works as a chef in Covent Garden if he has ever thought about changing sex. He will reply Tomorrow was Thursday.

Q.What do you do when you encounter homophobic,transphobic, bio phobic comments in your classroom?

Frankly if any of my students got to the level where they could tell me what day it is tomorrow in the right tense I would think that was a result. If any explained that for reasons of  religion or bigotry they felt all gays should be neutered and all lesbians shaved I would suggest I could teach them no more and they move to a higher class.

And so the questions rolled on and on until frankly I lost the will not only to crack any more jokes but to live.


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2 Responses to Essential Reading

  1. F. Howard Burnham says:

    Once again…funny, brilliant and sad.

    Thank you

    F. Howard Burnham 205 Charles Towne Court After July 17: 1316 Lincoln Ave Columbia, SC 29209 Pacific Grove, CA 93950-55212 Cell: 803 467-7267

  2. not sure if I understand the question.Let alone any answers.Interesting there were no Football questions.

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