Friday, 7:34 PM, Kriasho Kofu Office, Room 8.
I am teaching a Checkpoint lesson to two high school girls on advanced pronoun use and idiomatic expressions with "one." Ten minutes of drilling sentences describing cartoonishly-drawn characters in a prison line-up ("the one with pigtails," "the bald one," and the ever-difficult "the one in the floral shirt") have finally given way to a freer speaking activity. I swiftly secure to the whiteboard a series of pictures that previous teachers have hastily printed off the internet or clipped from fashion magazines: a businessman with a cell phone and striped tie, a preppy high-school student wearing a light-blue collared shirt and khakis, a glamor model with long black hair, a grave-faced office worker wearing clear-rimmed glasses, and this man:
I then come at the girls with my questions: Which one looks the most handsome? Which one looks the oldest? And finally, which one looks the smartest?
The younger girl answers first. "The one in the striped tie looks the smartest," she says hesitantly. As always, I ask why. She responds that she is not sure.
Then the older girl answers, pointing at Jim Carrey with a big smile. "I think the one on the far right looks the smartest." She too is at a loss to explain why, but fumbles steadily forward with the words to describe her feelings. "Because, he looks funny, and his face...his face is silly...but I think that...inside, he has a deep mind, and he can think of many ideas with a silly face."
Think about that.