Talluah has just found out that two of her subjects require her to do a paper test at a testing centre. Studying university by distance education has its difficulties and a quick search on the web found that the nearest testing centre is in Chile. Which is only a five hour bus trip followed by a two hour flight. The uni has said that she may be able to create a testing centre here in 9 de Julio if she can organise an invigilator. We were about to start looking on ebay to see if we could pick up a cheap one but it turns out that the layman’s translation of invigilator is a person who watches exams to make sure no one cheats. Talluah is in the process now of seeing if the school will be accepted as a testing centre.
One of my grade 6 students proudly showed me a list of swear words in English, the type of words that a sailor would have troubles saying out loud. I asked her what they were for and she replied it was the homework. At first I thought she was trying to ruffle my feathers so I asked if it would be OK if I showed the principal. She said yes. I asked if I could show her parents and again she was fine with the idea. None of the bilingual teachers were free so I asked another teacher for help question the student’s reason for writing these words. This teacher doesn’t speak a word of English so she needed a few minutes to translate the list of words to get their meaning. When she came back into the room she asked the class to explain the homework that I had given. It turns out that the student misunderstood the homework. I had asked them to find the English meaning for four words, one of them being the word groceries – food from a supermarket. The teacher explained to me that the word groceries sounds like Spanish word groserías, which means swear words. The poor student had thought that I had asked them to find English curse words. I flushed red as a beetroot and by next break the story had already spread around the staff.