Mentor to the youth of the world

Yep, this girl. I have added “Official Mentor to the youth of the WORLD” to my resume after agreeing to take on my third teaching gig this year for the children of the world.

These kids do not even know how lucky they are.

First, in November, we had my detailed and animated presentation to the children of France to teach them of the settling of America and the true meaning of Thanksgiving, the world’s most awesome dinner ever. In history. I also tossed in a small blurb on American football and a geography lesson which included the homes of the movie stars and where my family and lobsters are from. You can read about that here if you didn’t catch it the first time.

Then last month, I began my teaching career in Germany, which thank God for them, because well, maybe they need a few American teachers sprinkled around the country.

Last month my German, fifteen year old neighbor came over one day asking for the movie Illuminati. I had no idea what he was talking about, until we played a fun game of word association and he made me realize he wanted the English speaking version of Angels and Demons, which I’ll have you know is my least favorite Ewan McGregor film.

Two weeks later he comes over to
1. look around my house because I think the Germans are fascinated with American decorating
2. see if I have any American snacks because I keep pushing treats on them which in turn makes him want to come over for funfetti cupcakes
3. see if we invite him to play video games which we do not because he would stay forever
4. ask if I will help him edit his report, which I am happy to

Apparently they were all allowed to pick any topic IN LIFE and write a report about it. Why this kid chose “Illuminati” is beyond me. I could think of much better movies and much better topics to write a report meant to test my German skill but then again, if I were told to write a report in German, it’d be on beer, so I’ll not judge his topic choosing skills.

He leaves the report with the Mr. one day while I sleep and I open it the next day to find nine pages of somewhat broken English, describing the movie second by second. So much for summarizing or discussing characters or plot or themes. Just a second by second account of the entire movie, which I am supposed to decipher and then teach him where he needed a little help with his English.

Well, for the most part, it was just undoing what Google translate had probably taught him, like an explosion is an explosion, not a “firework spark in air” and that suffocating in English is not “losing best breath until almost die”. I actually thought the word mix-ups were kind of cute and I loved helping him learn the words and phrases and tenses he should try using next time.

And by helping him I meant I did an elaborate track change job with multi-colored highlights to show him what to edit and what not to edit. I did explain to him how I changed things and told him if he had any questions, to text me later because I had to go buy magnets for my scale and while I have always wanted to be an English teacher, I had priorities that day because this weight is not going to lose its motherfucking self without a working scale NOW IS IT?

For my efforts, he delivered me fresh-cut orange tulips that his mom helped him wrap in twine and ribbon. Swoon. No wonder teachers teach.

And now, my third project this quarter.

My little Irish friend, Christine, who I think is eight (or seven, but not nine surely and definitely not six so she must be eight, regardless of if she is as tall as me), is doing a report on a chosen topic and apparently she picked Walt Disney.

Walt Disney? Really? Ugh. I’d rather do astronauts or write a tutorial on how to make a fake volcano explode using baking soda. WALT DISNEY?

I asked my friend, her mother, if she could change the project topic because that didn’t really suit me and I had just offered to help with her fancy American report via Skype sessions, which of course I would hold out of my office and be sure the globe was clearly in view of the camera.

For the record, who picks Walt Disney, unless you thought that was Disney World’s first name? In her defense, though, she wanted to do Toy Story, which thankfully she did not get because I cannot support writing a play by play of that movie. Lion King? Yes. Toy Story. No.

“Mommy said she talked to you. We are not allowed to change our topic. I have Walt Disney.” It was 11pm, I had no idea what she was doing up but she was texting me again, which I LOVE.

Stubborn teachers in Ireland giving these kids no creative license to change their minds.

So. I’m not sure if she has the man or the World but either way, I’m sure I’ll be up to my newest teaching challenge.