Friday, December 21, 2007

The Damnation of Mario

I spend three days a week teaching English conversation and composition to mixed-level classes at a private college in Setagaya. I'm not kidding when I say "mixed-level," either; the huge proficiency overlaps that exist between designated levels often make me wonder how the students have ended up enrolled in the classes they're in. As such, the most proficient students are capable of some really clever humor, while the low-level students are mostly only capable of making lame excuses to explain why they're forty minutes late for class.

One day, during a group writing exercise focusing on "if" clauses, some of my first-year students came up with the scenario below. I supplied only the phrase "If Mario eats a mushroom," and the students did the rest, taking turns completing each other's sentences. Things didn't turn out well for Mario, it turns out:


drew said...

I guess the DEA was right about the dangers of 'shrooming. Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Jesse Jace said...

Most of these exercises, regardless of what opening line I supplied, ended in tragedy. For example, the one which started out "If you win the lottery," somehow worked its way to the ending, "your parents will go to prison."

Heather said...

How conflicting this particular one must have been for you, believing in neither God nor hell.

I laughed out loud as I read it.