Index / Go on to next event
The Firewall in the Mind (Slide 11) Way back when: Do cats have elbows?
As you can imagine, back then teacher burnout was a serious problem. People I worked with often had the attitude that they were just doing this for a while. It was paying the bills, and they'd stick with it year after year, but really they were just in it for the vacations. Caught in this cycle of drill and practice, mim and mem, with textbook publishers and administrators all buying into the process, teachers could be self-deprecating about their worth. My first published article was a critique of the text series we were using, English for Today. The title of the article was "Do Cats Have Elbows?" and it alluded to a particularly vacuous part of the book where students had to get their mouths around sentences like, "Cats don't have elbows, but people do." I also wrote a song called "ESL Blues" which, if there's a guitar handy, I just might play a verse from it
I ended up doing it acapela with the audience scatting the chords. Someone in the audience even had a harmonica!
For comments, suggestions, or further information
on this page
Last updated: May 23, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0