Today's English class went well.
Except for the part at the end when a little boy collapsed on the floor, weeping piteously.
Other than that, it was good.
In fact, it was perfect until that point. The kids all seemed pleased to see me again, a couple of them even coming up to me before class and trying out their English.
After a few lively choruses of "Head, Shoulers, Knees and Toes", I explained the days activity: the kids would divide into groups of three and change the words to the song. They would rehearse it, make up new gestures to accompany it and then perform their creation in front of the rest of the class.
They all got to work and really seemed motivated. Of course, it was harder for the nine year olds than it was for the 11 year olds that have already had a few years of English. But they all went at it with energy.
And no one was more energetic than Thor. Thor (Not his real name. Duh.) is the object of admiration and adoration of every eleven year old girl in the valley. Thor is smart, charming, creative and more good-looking than can possibly be good for him. He has long platinum blond hair that is almost as beautiful as Mallory's. He is also the star of the ski team. And as if all that weren't enough, he plays the drums in a local rock band. Not only that, I've heard him play and the kid is really good.
So, you will not be surprised to learn that Thor's group made up an entirely new melody, with very clever, funny gestures and it was all very brilliant. This made it what happened afterwards even worse.
Right after Thor's group sang, there was thunderous (well, as thunderous as 16 people clapping can get). Then the final group came up to the front of the classroom. The three boys started their little song were about halfway through it, when every single word of English they knew apparently flew out of their little heads. The song stopped dead. And the little brown-eyed boy on the left end slid down to the floor in a heap and started to wail.
I knelt down beside him and tried to convince him it was ok.
"You can start over. It's ok. Really! Nothing to cry about. This is just supposed to be fun!" I said encouragingly.
He looked up at me with pure misery in his eyes "But Thor's group was so good. Everybody was good but us. We're losers."
Poor little guy.
I somehow got him to stand up and the boys had another go. It went fine.
And that was today's English lesson.
BTW: The picture above is of Thor's group performing their song.
The blonde in the foreground is Mallory.