A couple of weeks ago, I had yet another eye-opening conversation with my Latvian homies. I was in a lesson and we’d just finished a rather difficult reading about a man who had left his high-powered career in finance behind to set up a bagel-delivery company.
Me: Were there any words you didn’t understand?
Me: Really? Nothing?
Class: (Some shuffling and exchanging of glances)
Mr ‘Why Not?’: What’s a bagel?
Yes, you heard it here first – Latvians have no idea what bagels are. I also discovered that it’s rather tricky to explain a bagel to people who have never seen or heard of them.
Sadly for me, this group has now come to an end, which is a real shame as they were a great bunch of people. It’s also a sad day for the blog as this was the group that not only brought us Mr ‘Why Not?’, but also the Questionable Teeth-Brushers and Mr ‘How to Turn Some Old Sperm into a Retirement Plan’. Blogging gold.
For the last lesson, I decided to treat them as they’d all done really well in the exam. (The lowest mark was 84% which leads me to believe that I am awesome at my job…) I popped in to see my new best friend, Jack (aka The Muffin Man), at his café on Gertrudes Iela. Naturally, Mr ‘Why Not?’ was going to get an extra surprise…
The muffins were declared excellent and within around 1.5 minutes, there was nothing left but crumbs. After going through the exam results and handing out the certificates, it was time for Scrabble. Amazingly, one or two of them had actually played it before. It’s not unusual to have a group of 9 or 10 people and not one of them has ever seen it. Pure sacrilege, if you ask me.
Playing Scrabble with students is entertaining and frustrating in equal measure. In the interest of fairness, I try not to join in unless someone is totally stuck. Over the years, I’ve had to develop the skill of smiling and saying ‘well done!’ through gritted teeth when a student doesn’t see the beautiful 7-letter word they’ve got sitting there, and instead put down ‘it’.
The shining moment of this particular game was when one of the girls managed to make ‘whore’. I felt so proud.
At the end of the lesson, I was presented with this –
I wonder if ‘why not?’ is a good enough reason to crack open the prosecco…