I am a firm believer in finding the funny in day-to-day life (in case you didn’t know). Maybe that’s why I love puns so much. . . especially unintentional ones. One of my favorites involves a certain French Dictionary with which some of you may be familiar.
One day, during a French class I was teaching, I was curious to know how one might say the word/expression “a cliffhanger” en français . Since I didn’t know, I decided to model good language-learner behavior by looking it up in my handy-dandy French-English Dictionary. But when I looked at the definitions, this is what I saw:
Now, anyone who is even slightly familiar with French (and even most reasonably logical monolinguists) can figure out that “histoire“ just means “story” or “history”. Needless to say, I was baffled for just a moment . . . UNTIL I turned the page and saw this:
So, pleine de suspense can be translated as “full of suspense”. Well, needless to say, I BUSTED out laughing (like any self-respecting language-nerd might). I mean, the definition of cliffhanger is an actual cliff-hanger!!! It leaves you hanging, and then requires you to turn the page to find out the rest of the definition. This is sheer brilliance. I love it when humor surprises you like this.
Now, there are other days when it is more tricky to find humor in random moments, and the humor there is to be found is not always encouraging. For example, today (ironically on the same day I was highlighting organizational skills in two of my classes) I noticed the label on one of my student’s binders . . .
Now, while this definitely made me chuckle (and inspired the taking of a photo), it was also slightly disheartening. Nobody likes their subject matter (you know, that stuff they spend at least 5 hours a day/25 hours a week teaching) to be called “crapwork”. Based on nice things this wonderful student has said, I know it wasn’t intended to be a commentary on my class in particular, but still . . . disheartening on principle for a teacher, don’t you think? Anyhow, once this laughter had passed, the rest my Friday classes proceeded with an alarming degree of seriousness.
Since it’s a Friday (the night after an evening school function, no less!) I was feeling a little (ahem: a lot) fatigued and less prone to finding small funnies as the day progressed. Which is why it came as a fantastic surprise to spend a full five minutes on spontaneous laughter after discovering/reading a letter left on my desk just as my last class began. The letter was such an unexpectedly wonderful and laughter-inspiring piece, that I have decided to share it with you. . . it’s just that good.
This is why I love my job, because my students are wonderful enough to find humor and share laughter with me when I least expect it!
On that note, Happy Weekend to you all!
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