Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tangents in Outer Space

In the classroom I am known for going off on tangents. For the most part these tangents are related to the subject I teach in a broad sense. I mean, usually they are something about Japan. I control myself fairly well with the first year class but sometimes it gets a little loose with the second year class. Today they were practicing expressions about things they'd like to try to do when visiting another place. The textbook gave us five exotic locations and the students had to come up with a sixth. They chose the moon. This somehow led to a conversation about the planets and it seems a lot of the students are angry about Pluto's demotion to a "demi-planet." (We also talked a little about what the planets are called in Japanese, thus preserving tangential contact with our class subject.)Somewhere along the line, with students proclaiming Pluto was their favorite planet, I felt compelled to share one of my most embarassing elementary school episodes. I think it happened in third grade. We were studying the solar system and the teacher asked us to identify the last planet in the solar system. I knew I had it nailed. I raised my hand, got picked by the teacher and proudly proclaimed, "It's Goofy!"
Well, I knew it was one of those Disney dogs...

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