Big Mouth Strikes Again, La Dee Da

We all know difficult people. They all generally share three main characteristics – they cannot be reasoned with, they believe they can do no wrong, and they are convinced that everything is someone else’s fault. If you haven’t had some first-hand experience in dealing with such people…

I’ve totally screwed myself a-gain… Me and my big, wide mouth.

See, it’s all about Deutsch right now, right? I’m sure I’ve bored you to tears with my constant whining. I am terribly sorry.

However, I’m not done.

I have three teachers. The first one is the grammar teacher. I like him. I had him in the last session and he understands my humor. He’ll explain in English if I really don’t understand. He laughs when I practice my prepositions with ironic sentences. He understood when I said the animal I missed most from my homeland was the gay man.

Anyway, I like him. The other teacher who teaches conversation is cool too. She was also my tutor. She explained things so clearly and really takes her time to make sure EVERYONE in the class understands.

The third teacher is right smack in the middle and he is SUPPOSED to get us ready for our end of the session test. He’s horrible. He arrives late and leaves early. He talks way too fast for a GKII class. There is no continuity in vocabulary or lesson plans.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the details except to say, after speaking with my fellow students and coming up with a consensus, I asked said teacher to speak slower and to use the white board.

Nothing changed.

Yesterday, he called me up to the white board to write a sample sentence in which the entire class would correct. Great, I thought. I need to learn more about sentence structure.

The problem came when he did not correct my original sentence, but rather wrote a completely new sentence under mine. So I asked him to correct my original sentence. He told me he liked his better. I asked again, what was wrong with mine, structurally. There was a verb in the wrong tense and my article was also wrong.

After about 10 minutes, I just said OK, forget it. I figured I’d ask the other two teachers because they never have a problem correcting stuff. Even if there is another, more elegant way of writing something, they’ll use my sentence to illustrate what we are trying to learn without adding pedantic vocabulary and fancy pants genitives WHICH we haven’t even covered yet. He was flustered and I was pink-cheeked pissed. The class was totally silent.

OK…Sometimes, I tend to bite down on one particular thing and forget to let go even when it really doesn’t matter. I get this tunnel vision and just lose all perspective. I’ve been really working on THAT particular charm of mine. However, yesterday was one of those oops moments.

So, back to being screwed. It turns out that this teacher teaches grammar for the fourth level. As the grammar teacher, he grades the test. So when I’m in the fourth level, he’ll grade my test and what do you think the odds are that my handwriting might be a bit too hard to read and I get marked off because I chose to drive over the Alps as opposed to crossing the Alps.

Maybe I shouldn’t have sat there, defiant in my fuhren, and simply nodded in mute acceptance of his pathetic…

I’ll never make it to MKI now. Foiled by a stupid Alp and a mouth that gets away from me before I can lock it up. It’s not my fault. It’s a genetic thing. Really. And comparatively, well… I’ve come along way since my teenage years. According to sources that really should not throw stones, I had quite the grasp of the English language as a Defense Against the Dark Arts. Or maybe it was the use of the English language IN the Dark Arts.

Regardless, I’m really a very nice person these days (references upon request).

Markus suggests next time I have a problem with a teacher I should shut my trap and let someone else take the lead.

I have been waiting my entire life for that person.

He said that those people are everywhere. They just keep their traps shut when they see the muck I’ve made with mine..



5 thoughts on “Big Mouth Strikes Again, La Dee Da

  1. That third teacher seems to be a jerk. I always use what the student has written so that they understand their errors. I might elicit another way of saying the same thing from the class, but that’s only after I’ve corrected the student’s errors.

  2. Yes, I totally agree with J. I think his behaviour had nothing to do with learning German and everything to do with putting in you in “your place”.

    I encountered this type of thing a lot especially when learning German in Germany.

    And I can’t agree with Sparky here. About shutting up and letting someone else take the lead. You are who are you are Jen, assertive, funny, curious and willing to learn.

    Don’t give up those things, ‘kay? Especially to a jerk like this guy.

    PS. Perhaps you’ve run across this tip, but I’ll give it to you in any case:

    Aus, Bei, Mit, Nach, Seit, Von, Zu.

    Sing it out loud, make it your song 🙂 For when you are stuck with what’s dative oder nicht. You’ll have with this tune, prepositions that ONLY take dative objects.

    Helped me a couple of times, especially on tests when I blanked.

  3. Great Tip, PG!

    And I never told Jen to shut up. All I did recommmend is to be a bit more Machiavellian about it and let somebody else do the talking now and then.

    That way, the jerky guy can not get angry at Jen alone (and grade her badly in the future), he also has to hear the same thing from different mouths, and therefore face the possibility that the problem is not “about that pain-in-the-ass-pupil-I-have”, but maybe “about that shit-ass-untalented-teacher I am”.

    – Sparky

  4. Someone once said that we all have an “irregular” person in our life who crushes our spirit or neglects/abuses us emotionally–often a family member. This teacher sounds like your IRREGULAR person right now?! UGH. I wish you luck with him 🙂

  5. Jen, reading your blog is always fun and interesting. However, I am getting more nervous about learning German as I hear about your experiences in class. Do you have any advice for me?

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