Thursday, March 1, 2012

Movie Reward Day

I think the 1st and 2nd graders were rewarded with a movie afternoon yesterday...either that or their teachers needed some extra tea time. In any event, I was notified that I would not be teaching two of my classes and could enjoy the extra free time.."drink some chai or coffee," they urged. Because I'd already drunk my second cup of coffee for the day, had worked through my three planning periods (Wednesdays are my easy day) and am really trying to improve my Turkish, I decided to join the students in the Sinema Salon for a movie instead.

I brought along my notebook to jot down words that I might want to learn and ideas for future classes. I plopped myself down next to an annoying, (one with no friends who runs around behind my back and then freezes when I turn around and thinks I don't see him...Ellen knows of whom I speak..)but extremely intelligent 2nd grade student. He was delighted to have a companion and was even more impressed that I was taking notes. Maybe I earned some "good behavior" points from him and modeled more appropriate uses for his unchecked ADHD.

Eventually the 160 or more students took their places; they never did stop talking or settle down, and the movie began. All of the classroom teachers left the salon (presumably to drink tea) and I sat as the lone white jacket amid the sea of orange plaid uniforms. I tried to ignore the chaos (it's actually fairly easy because I can't understand their tattle-telling) and focused on the movie, "The Extraordinary Adventures of Samy the Sea Turtle." The movie was in black and white, probably a pirated version because, as I read later on the internet, the original was in 3-D. Fortunately the animation was really good even though the Turkish words didn't quite match up to the lips. (This is another "voice-over" film which tends to be a problem for me because my brain attempts to lip read the English and forgets to listen to the Turkish.)

Anyway, I was really interested in this movie and wanted to see where Samy's life would take him over a course of 50 years with all the oil tankers sinking and global warming and what not. Unfortunately about 35 minutes into the movie, one of the 1st grade teachers entered the room and was not happy about the noise and activity level of the students. I think he asked them if they liked the film or if they would like a different film. (Here's where my teaching style and their teaching styles diverge. My question would have been something like this, "Would you like me to stop the movie right now and we can go back to class and take a spelling test, or would you like to zip your lips, sit on your hands, and watch the movie?")

Unfortunately the students responded with a "hayir [no]", they didn't like the movie. They wanted a different film. The teacher then inserted "Open Season 2", a stupid animated film, where the animation has little relevance to the words. For example, I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why the bear was using live rabbits as balls to throw at a target...Luckily, the pirated version of this film was not working very well so several of the teachers finally figured out this was a waste of time and took their students back to class. Unfortunately for me, it meant I had to teach the infamous 2C...At least now I know their reprehensible behavior, and yesterday was no exception, is not about me.

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