As the Fall session of English as a Second Language (ESL) Class comes to a close, the students seem to be anxious about cramming as much English as they can in each session. I’ve found a good rhythm of having the students read aloud, practice pronunciation, then review words they aren’t familiar with.
Questions seem to come up when a student comes across an unfamiliar word and asks for the meaning. In the past I would have my Kindle or mobile device on hand to define the word but that would lead to us veering off topic. I’d feel frustrated that we didn’t finish the lesson and some of the students would feel frustrated that we weren’t learning in a linear manner.
Instead of interrupting class, I now have the students finish the sentence so that we can try to understand the new word based on how it’s used. Or the context.
Context seems to have taken a back seat in most things Social Media related. The picture of President Obama cutting up with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Britain Prime Minister David Cameron during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela as Michelle Obama sat looking annoyed has taken up WAY too much space in my Facebook and Twitter timelines.
The photographer of the picture said we’re looking at the picture all wrong. He has an entire post dedicated to WHAT happened in the picture and WHY he snapped the shot. As usual, Michelle Obama gets to play the role of Shelly from the ‘hood.
If, as the picture looks at first glance, Michelle Obama is indeed pissed about what is happening near her, why are we so focused on HER anger and HER need to “lock it down” as one person on Facebook posted with delight. Why does it have to boil down to an arc of the last Love and Hip Hop about girl versus girl over a boy? Is it possible that Mrs. Obama was uncomfortable in her seat? Was it not raining – maybe Michelle Obama was cold? Perhaps she’s worried about one of the girls. Kids in Upper Darby are coming home with the long face of bad grade doom, couldn’t one of her own girls have faced the same? Or maybe Michelle is like me in more ways than one: her undergarments were rolling up.
Another picture has surfaced that shows Mrs Obama smiling. I’ve seen that one only once as opposed to the one that looks like Michelle wants vaseline and a ponytail holder.
Why are we so focused on Michelle Obama? The real issue is the behavior of the POTUS. The focus should not be on Michelle Obama’s facial expression. The focus should be on Barack Obama’s inappropriate behavior? Barack Obama is the president of the United States.
Let that sink in for a moment.
As the President of the (once) most powerful country of the world, doesn’t the Barack Obama have a higher standard of behavior than the average person? As President (not Senator, not Congressman, not “Pull-my-finger Uncle Joe”), Obama doesn’t have the luxury of clowning around for selfies. He is supposed to conduct himself in a manner more dignified than that.
I know that people will say that this was not a funeral or a time of mourning, but a time for celebration. I saw the crowds of people singing and dancing, calling for Mandiba. But I can’t accept the leader of my country acting like a sixteen year old girl. Or me at the theater:
Thoughts of Obama’s behavior? Should we accept that we live in the age of selfies and gie Obeezy a pass? Or does the President have a higher standard?
A note about comments. Play nice. I WILL delete any statement that doesn’t further the conversation.