Being a CD and single.
by Evans Yonson
(note: in spanish, the word single could be translated and understood in three ways: unmarried (soltero/a); an individual (solo); or, a record or CD single (sencillo). in cebuano, sencillo means loose change. and in spanish it also means simple. i only know unmarried, an individual, loose change and simple.)
this is the first time that i’m handling a beginners’ english class. most of my students have had english classes but admittedly they never learned anything from those classes.
i was told before going to this class that i’m having an elementary class, which means that the students can construct simple sentences and a basic understanding of the language.
after distributing the needs analysis sheets, my students (all four of them) just looked at the five-page questionnaire without doing anything. i started to panic because all i have prepared was a simple Q&A exercise for an hour and a writing exercise for the remaining 30 minutes.
so, i improvised. remember, i was born ready. but mind you i was sweating profusely.
the first 15 minutes of the class was spent with the English alphabet. how to spell their names and some acronyms so they could master the letters and how to read it.
when i noticed that they were getting bored, i switched channels. this time to personal information.
i said, “I’m single.” i didn’t translate so they would really think.
again i said, “I’m not married. I’m still single.”
and i pointed to carlos, which completely surprised him. and he said with strong will and great confidence, “I’m complicated.”
i stopped and thought for awhile. i immediately started translating everything. married – casado. separated – separado. widower – viudo.
by complicated he meant he didn’t understand what i was saying. okay. fine. point well taken.
i explained single means no wife or husband.
“I’m still complicated,” he said. he’s starting to irritate me now. it’s confused!!!
“You’re not single,” he declared.
“Of course, I am,” saying with firm voice now. look at this man, this is just our first meeting and here he is telling me that i’m not single. i asked him to explain in spanish to avoid our ensuing misunderstanding of the word.
in spanish (translated), “how can you be single when you’re not a CD nor a CD player?”
“you’re a bachelor! and not a CD,” he declared.