December 23 - I had the opportunity of having a conference class with two students that don't normally "team-up" in my schedule. I chose a random conversational topic and the rest was history. I particularly observed the similarity in English abilities, which made the class more spontaneous and smooth-flowing.
What was more interesting was that one student was quite laid-back and soft-spoken, while the other was very bubbly and upbeat. These personality differences didn't affect the class at all, it even amplified and made it even more interesting.
The first few questions were answered by both according to their own beliefs and opinions and they were very interactive. It was quite easy for the both of them to throw questions at each other and showcase their communication skills as I listened intently to both speakers.
The last question was the most memorable: "My girlfriend left me. I feel depressed. What should I do?" Since both students were women, I guess "rewording" the question above was in order: "If your boyfriend left you and you feel depressed about it, what would you do?"
The bubbly student answered very casually: "This happened to me before and I knew how it felt like. Maybe because he was more immature than I am or because I was more immature than he is, I don't know. If this happens to me again, I'll just look for another guy."
The other student and I laughed throughout the remaining minutes of the class and "bubbly" student laughed as well, probably realizing how casual her opinion was. I was probably expecting: "Well, I would ask advice from my friend to help me with the recovery process,.." or something along those lines.
As a result, both students became more comfortable with each other and admired each other's dedication to their chosen fields of endeavor. Even though their professions are very different from one another, one can only admire the level of work ethic, professionalism, commitment and talent these women have shown. They are perfect examples again of women setting the bar in a very traditional country, mostly dominated by men.
On a personal note, being casually honest really has its benefits- it brings out spontaneity, unexpected laughter as well as another learning experience and this is just one of the perks of teaching English - priceless!