Sunday, August 14, 2005


I bumped into a former student this weekend, and she reminded me of some fun we had in class. (I always had fun teaching, I miss it) My students had a difficult time expressing possession in Spanish. They wanted desperately to use an apostrophe. It didn't matter that this was their third year of studying the language, many of them would still use it: Jorge's libro. For those of you who've never explored Spanish, we say el libro de Jorge, which translates to "the book of Jorge". Never, ever use an apostrophe to express ownership. After repeated attempts to stop the apostrophes, I finally came up with a solution: I put the 's in jail. I created a jail with a box, some black paint, and chains. I even dressed the little guy in stripes. He sat on top of a bookcase, unable to be used by any student in my class. One morning, I returned to my classroom to find the door plastered with signs. "Free the 's!" "Equal rights for apostrophes!" It had to be Mrs. Horton, that darn English teacher in the neighboring room. Sure enough, on her door read a sign "Safehaven for apostrophes". The next day, we discovered that there had been a jailbreak. No one would ever confess, but he never made it back to my classroom. Those kids sent that criminal 'S all over town and photographed it, taunting me with the pictures. But they still didn't use apostrophes in Spanish.


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