Friday, July 8, 2011

The hippie room

One of the language institutes I work for specializes in corporate language training. So, teachers primarily teach business English to business people who work for big corporate companies. It can be a little dry for the teacher and the student, but it's necessary. I was assigned a class and the room I teach this particular class in completely baffles me. The entire floor of the langauge institute is very professional. Neutral colors, comfortable climate, professional staff, multiple classrooms, boring background music. The receptionist will even bring you coffee, water, or tea. So imagine my surprise when I was shown into my classroom for this particular class. It's about the size of a walk in closet, or a bathroom. Desks, chairs, and a whiteboard? Silly assumption. Our chairs and desks are footstools, craft-fair pillows, and bean bags. There is a guitar in the corner, and african art sculptures and art books on the shelves. What. The. Hell. Is. This. So, my student, who is a manager at a big corporation, and is expecting me to teach him language relevant to his job, walks in and goes "Oh great. The hippie room." How am I supposed to teach grammatical concepts with a straight face and expect my student to take me seriously when we are both sitting on beanbags and using multi-colored footstools as desks?! More importantly, what in the F is this room doing at this language institute that specifically caters to not only adults, but serious business people? It's like they had this weird extra space where there wasn't room for desks and chairs, so the coordinators all got stoned and thought it would be a good idea to throw some bean bags and pillows in there. I mean, we've all had ideas like this when under the influence of drugs or alcohol...but they left it that way. They saw a teacher and a man in a suit sitting on beanbags talking about prepositional phrases while every other room in the institute looks like a traditional classroom and they said, "Yeah, this looks right."

(using the appropriate description invented by Reid Ekberg)


  1. Amusing... Maybe you can teach him some useful hippy terms like groovy and far out and light some incense.