Saturday, 1 September 2012

How Cohorts Bond

My professor refers to the group of my classmates and me as a "cohort". Regardless of any images of Baby Bowser and evil henchmen you may get in your head when someone uses the term "cohort", that is what we are called. We have recently verbified the word and now spend time together "cohorting".

Most people have yet to even arrive to begin school, but my cohorts and I just wrote the final exam for our first course this afternoon. This morning, one classmate hosted a study party in her apartment.

The study party was temporarily derailed when Miao Yu tried to teach us how to say her name properly. I had already tried to learn once, but she informed me that I had mistakenly called her a fish instead, so we were due for another lesson.

"Miao Yu," she said.

"Miao Yu," we all repeated.

"The tone goes Yu," she said with a hand motion to demonstrate.

"Yuuu? Yu?" we said, voices swooping in different directions.

She laughed. "Miao Yu. Yu, Yu, Yu," she modeled.

"Yu. Yu yuyuyuyuyuy," we tried again.

"Yu. Your tongue like this." She showed us with her hands what her tongue was doing. It seems we may have gotten the tone but still weren't getting the vowel.

"Ew?" we said, twisting our tongues. "Eu? Ooo? Uuew. YOU! Ieu? Yuie. Yuh. Yeu. Yui?"

"Yu," she said, making a fish face to exaggerate the correct positioning of the mouth.

"YU!" we all replied with fish faces. "Yuuuu. YUH!"

"Sort of," said Miao Yu.

We all sighed.

"When you learn Mandarin, the teacher will tell you how to say it," said Miao Yu.

So we all gave up and started studying.

"Hey, wait," I said. "You're auditing this course, aren't you Miao Yu?"

"Yes," she replied.

"So, are you actually taking the exam with us, or are you studying just for fun?"

"I take the exam," she said. "For fun."

And that, dear readers, is how TESOL cohorts spend time getting to know each other.

As an additional treat, I composed this after midnight because I couldn't sleep:

To the Guy Upstairs:

Are your feet made of lead?
I can hear you from bed
As you romp, clomp and stomp
Above my poor head.

I am not impressed
As you may have guessed.
Please go to bed
So we can all rest.

“You have that look on your face that says 'hold me to your ear; you'll hear the ocean.'” Londo Mollari from Babylon 5

4 comments:

Brianna said...

Tests for audit! I wonder how that changes the experience.

Wouldn't the guy upstairs actually be a woman? You should get ear plugs.

mmeguertin said...

Perhaps, the "lady" upstairs is a dancer? We are known for our heavy, turned out gallumping around ( as my father would say).
I spent some time with several Korean students, one of whom was named "Lion" or so we thought. We kept saying "Ryan" and he would say,"NO!, Lion". We called him "Lion" until his birthday. We constructed a sign for the kitchen saying "Happy Birthday Lion"He was gravely offended and wrote "Ryan" on the sign. The best laid plans of mice and men.... best wishes and blessings

Carla said...

Haha! Oh, the joys of intercultural communication...

No, pretty sure it's a guy. My floor is all female, the floor above is all male.

art said...

Well Karlaah, I hope you get the name correct. Calling someone a fish may not be that nice of term.

Too bad the guys got the upstairs. I suppose you are not even allowed to go up there to read him the riot act. Hopefully you find out who it is and send him a text when he gets out of hand.