Monday, July 07, 2008

Craig jumped the gun; I had to deliver the point earlier (Personal Entry)

Breathe easy now, Craig. This is for our eyes only. No one else will see this note with the privacy settings the way they are.

What I learned indirectly from Craig is that timing matters when delivering points in non-joking situations, too. At least he reinforced what I've known for a long time but somewhat forgot now. (I’ve known that it matters when delivering the same (but known as “punchlines”) in jokes, of course.) When he said “Not interested,” I then knew I was taking too long to tell him the result of the situation. He would’ve felt different if I had said it earlier.

How Jeff liked my suggestion to Madoka-san

Earlier this week, I told her that what she was responding to in her workbook was too ridiculous (“Paris and London are countries.”) She was expected to write in the response line, “No, Paris and London are cities. I asked her if it’d seem funny if she’d instead write, “Hell no, Paris and London are cities.” She agreed that it would, so I got her to do just that.

I also suggested “God No,” on another bloody preposterous statement (forgot it now.) She also wrote that. I asked her to tell the teacher (Jeff McPherson of Australia) that her conversation partner suggested it, if he asked about those coarse intensifiers.

In another session the next day, she stated Jeff laughed when she told and showed him it. No, not in a ridiculing way; he laughed because it was the right, natural kind of response for THAT situation, albeit unexpected from a Japanese student. I felt it was going to be funny to the teacher, so I took the risk; that went well.

On Friday, I went into the 18Bank ATM room near the in-school conbini to ask Jeff what he thought. Jeff approved that, and stated that it’s “better to sound more natural when speaking,” and when the Japanese speak English, they “sound like robots.” (Also that “they were the most beautiful robots (he’s) ever met.”) Moreover, that when the Japanese speak how native English speakers are expected to (like “Hey man, what’s up?” in America or “G’day, Mate” Down Under instead of the too-common “Hello,”) the native speakers become surprised and amazed at their apparent ability to adapt to the language better than anticipated!

Jeff praised my suggestions well because that started Madoka-san onto speaking English more naturally. Then I told him I’ll teach Madoka-san more such ways to talk; he approved that, too. Then we said “See you next week,” “Take care,” and parted ways for the weekend. If my first attempts at such verbal stunts were funny and useful, I ought to teach her more of these.

How I felt at Craig's moment

Now when Craig said "Not Interested," I felt a slew of negative feelings (that I shouldn’t bother to place words on), and felt even more compelled to attempt to deliver that point. (Now I wonder how others may express their disinterest more tactfully.) Other times, whenever I feel that way, I may attempt to resume telling it later, or if I know that won’t work (certainly not in this situation), I’ll instead place it on these notes (privately, in most cases.) Being unable to give the point stuck the desire to finish deeper into my thoughts, so I just wanted this off my mind for the last time, and intend for the note to make that happen. Sorry, Craig.

It’s just that anything I want off my chest feels even heavier when I’m unable to take it all the way off. Apologies again if you think this was a “whine;” (Maybe you called it something else) I knew a high school teacher who stipulated that “ALL WHINING MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING! No verbal whines will be accepted.” If I ever teach (doubtful that I might), I’d probably also stipulate that.

Was it better to divulge this on a private note rather than by talking? I think so in this situation. That being done now, I’m sure you feel better than you would’ve if I tried to keep speaking about it. I am now satisfied that I finished the topic, and get to think about and move onto something new. 

(Easy to read? This note was kept under 725 words.)

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