One of my lower level classes is filled with "bad girls," whom my co-teachers inform me are rather notorious, school-wide. They smoke cigarettes in the bathroom, skip class, are extremely loud, and wear massive amounts of eyeliner, caked on crayon-thick. (For reference, see this video that I linked to in an earlier post)
My co-teachers pick on them in class, but I find them rather hilarious because they are one of the few groups of students who are completely comfortable around me outside of class. We have the same "conversation" every time I see them:
Bad Girls: Hello, Teacher!
Me:Hi! How are you?
Bad girls(after the girls ask each other "What does 'How are you' mean?" the boldest of the pack speaks insanely fast): Iamfinethankyouandyou?
Me: I am great.
Two second pause.
Bad girls: Teacher, WE LOVE YOU!
Me (laughing): Thank you! I love you, too.
Bad girl #1 (looking at my tattoo on my wrist, pointing): Aw, teacher, TATTOO!
Me: I know!
Bad girl #1: Aw teacher, I want one too!
Me: Hahaha! Ok, see you soon!
Bad girls, together: See you!
And we go our separate ways.
I think to be really good at a second language, it takes more than just being super-book smart and having lists upon lists of vocabulary words memorized. You have to have a certain amount of self-confidence/a distinct lack of fear/embarrassment whilst making inevitable grammar errors when speaking, a la Alex in Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Everything is Illuminated:
The bad girls have no fear, and therefore do pretty well in my class.
I think maybe the good girls in my class--the ones who know all the vocabulary words, but are too scared to even look at me--could learn a bit from these "bad" ones^^