Setting: A standard looking waiting room – a couple of chairs, some magazines and a water cooler.
Participants: One tired EFL teacher, a woman whom I know slightly from the neighborhood and her 20-year-old daughter.
Me: Hello! How are you?
Woman: Fine! Have you met my daughter?
(Woman turns to daughter and nods in my direction): She’s an English teacher. (I’m not insulted that the woman doesn’t remember my name, I don’t remember hers either…).
Daughter: Really? Do you teach high-school?
Daughter: Do you teach the LITERATURE? All that “bridging” shmiding stuff? (she is referring to the “bridging tasks” we have in the Literature Program. Shmiding is her own invented word).
Me: Yes, I teach all levels.
Daughter: You know, that material was really hard. My favorite story was “The Split Cherry Tree” . (turns to her mother) You know, we learned a play and stories and even poems in English written for native speakers. Really hard words! (turns back to me) But I got a 97!
Mother: (in a complaining voice) “Tell me, how could she get a grade of 97 when she won’t speak in English?”
Me: Your daughter is very talented. (Sigh. Did I mention that I was tired?)
Daughter: Our teacher made us work really hard. We went over everything over and over again. (YAY! She appreciated a teacher!).
Mother: That’s the way it should be (in a satisfied tone).
Daughter: What was the name of the play we learned? I can’t remember. I liked “The Split Cherry Tree“.
Me: “All My Sons”?
Daughter: Yes! That’s it! Isn’t it about a doctor who saves someone fighting against their country?
Me: Perhaps you mean the story “The Enemy“?
Daughter: Oh yes, we learned that one too. What were the poems we learned? I liked “The Split Cherry Tree”.
Mother: They are calling our name. Bye!
Me: (to myself) Phew, now I won’t have to play “guess the poem” with her… There might have been cherry trees in them. Back to my own book!