What’s That Doing Here?

I wonder why there is no sitcom based on ESL teachers. Yes, I have seen the British show called Mind Your Language, and I watched every show of English Teachers (or Taipei Diaries as it was called in other countries) but based on my own experiences, I think there should be a show.  Today provided the perfect example.


Let me set the scene for you. After a relatively painless commute, and climbing the stairs rather than take the elevator (all in the name of fitness) I entered the teacher’s room on a typical Monday morning.  Then I stopped dead in my tracks.

Yes, sitting on a colleague’s desk was a giant Bluenose ship. I did a double take and then the questions started racing through my head.  I did not utter them aloud because nobody was there to answer.  So, it was a mystery.

Over the next 30 minutes, every teacher who entered the room, did the exact same thing. They started asking questions and making comments.

  • Whose boat is that?
  • Why is there a boat on the desk?
  • What’s it doing here?
  • Who brought that?
  • Is that your boat?
  • Is that Dave’s boat? Where did he get it?
  • Is that Martin’s boat? How’s he going to take that home? 
  • I don’t think his wife wants that in the house?
  • Why is there a KISS member on the boat?
  • Where’s he going to put that?

This went on for some time. Having no answers and growing resentment at the questions, I started with shrugs and progressed to eye roles, lip snarls, and dead blank stares.  It didn’t stop the questions, but it made me feel better.

It took several retellings, but eventually the story of the boat was told. If it had been exciting, I would relate it here, but it wasn’t.  I could make up a story, but that doesn’t seem right.

By the end of the workday, the question of where the boat was going to be displayed came up quite often. I think some of the desk mates did not appreciate the imposing structure.  In at least one case, communication was deemed impossible through the sails.

If you’re wondering why this is being awarded Today’s Perfect Moment, then you just have to understand how random and eclectic an ESL teacher’s room can be. Remember, we have all colours of the rainbow and are lacking nothing in diversity.  We also have textbooks from before Canada adopted the metric system, a KISS diorama, teacher’s who would rather be teaching courses on Bob Dylan, middle ages theology, Tibetan Buddhism, Psychology, and Greek history rather than ESL.  We also have rapid trivia contests, shouting matches, and lunch fridge thieves.  So, this moment, while not a typical Monday morning,…..kind of was.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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8 Responses to What’s That Doing Here?

  1. Pingback: Skeleton Hijacking | Today's Perfect Moment

  2. “Let me set the seen for you.” ‘Tis “scene” not “seen.” As an ESL teacher, you must be held to a basic standard higher than the prevailing illiterates’. 🙂 Otherwise, my curiosity’s aroused; what’s the unexciting reason for the ship’s arrival?

    • Anthony says:

      I believe the ship appeared because some people, taking advantage of new liberal laws in Ontario, discovered it consigned to the trash and they refused to accept that.

  3. Hmmm. Possibly more clutter for that rescuer with good intentions.

  4. Space is not an invitation, reason or excuse for things. Curious phenomenon is how uncomfortable most are with empty space. “See Space, Fill Space” they respond.
    I’m in the very. distinct. minority of See Space Leave It Be. (In fact, I go to great lengths to create space at every turn at all times; perhaps food for a blog post.)
    Can’t argue with the unintended benefit of conversation starter, however ….

  5. gemmi72 says:

    I think that any workspace shared by teachers resembles what you have described. About three years ago our school decided to refurbish our staff room. At the start of the process we were moved into some temporary digs which meant we all had to cull or store our stuff. There was much grumbling and also much culling.
    When we moved back into our modernised office we were impressed and things were certainly neater for a time. But three years on and the creep of stuff has taken over, the extra shelf beside the desks, sneaky piles of stuff under desks. There is no way to categorise the things teachers collect but many of us are hoarders!

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