Each morning, after prayer I begin class by randomly drawing a name out of a cup–the name I draw is my helper for the day.
One of the perks of being Miss Samara’s helper is that you get to stand on top of your chair in the front of the class and answer Miss Samara’s eight questions.
The questions are the same everyday and pretty basic:
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- How are you?
- Do you have any brothers or sister? How many?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite animal?
- What day of the week is today? What was yesterday? What is tomorrow?
I write all of the student’s answers on the white board as they are answering and when they are finished I ask the listening students the same questions about the helper.
Meet Boon [Bawn]
(arguably one of my most favorite students.)
How can you not love that face!?!
Boon is under the impression that he cannot speak English and so when he wins the opportunity to be my helper, the question part of the job is a bit painful.
We make it through, but there may be a translation or two along the way.
This particular day when Boon was asked the question, “How are you?,” he was able to answer straight away. He knew how he was. He was tiger.
Miss Samara: How are you, Boon?
Boon: I am tiger.
Now, this is a very common mistake and was not the first nor will it be the last time that a student has told me they are tiger instead of tired. I was not surprised.
So I repeat: “You are T-IIIII-re-D” (stress the final consonant,) and move on.
We get through the remaining five questions and then it’s time to see how well my other students were listening.
Name and Age are pretty easy even if you weren’t listening because they’re not subject to change much over the course of the year. Then I ask Folk to answer the third question about Boon.
Miss Samara: Folk, how is Boon?
Folk: [blank stare] [look at the sky] [scratch chin]
Miss Samara: Folk, how iiissss Boon?
Folk: [look up] [lightbulb] Boon is lion.
Boon is lion.
All in a days work.