Stuff English Teachers Like
Posted on January 6, 2014
I made this (or some version of this) into a video which I will embed below. Sorry for being an insufferable ham.
Calling Movies “Films”
English teachers love calling movies “films.” The word “movie” is too low-brow. Heck, even the word “word” is too low-brow (we prefer term). But seriously, calling something a “film” elevates it to a position of high art, distinguishing it from the baser forms of “entertainment” (I’m looking at you, Toddlers and Tiaras). Plus, if you’re an English teacher, you never go to “the movies”–you go to “the cinema.”
English teachers (and hipsters) REALLY seem to like irony. We can spot it from a mile away, and when our irony radar is piqued, we get a knowing, half-smile on our face, as if to suggest, “yeah, I get why the actual meaning of this and/or these events is not the same as what is being portrayed and/or expressed and is therefore ironic.” Unlike hipsters, however, English teachers never plan their Halloween costumes around irony. We would never, for instance, dress as a plunging stock market graph and say we were Miley Cyrus’ net worth after her performance at the VMA’s. Nah. There are too many awesome characters from literature to dress up as.
That old time punctuational equivalent of the comparatively cumbersome “or,” the slash, is a favorite amongst English teachers. (Side note: using amongst instead of among = an English teacherism.) The slash lets English teachers pepper in choice into an otherwise straightforward sentence. I want to be able to choose my favorite adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions, just like I want to choose my favorite cereal at the grocery store–a tossup between Honey Nut Cheerios/Oatmeal Squares/Kashi/Frosted Mini-Wheats.
Going to Starbucks and Bringing Only a Book
In this age of hyperconnected Insta-facing and Snap-clapping, bringing a book (and only a book) to Starbucks seems downright suspicious. Yes, I see you over there tweeting from behind your venti double shot of expresso seasonal latte about the weirdo with the book. I am READING. Deal with it.
Making Lists and Being Self-Referential
This article an example of a list. The fact that I’m including “making lists” into a list is an example of being self-referential. But seriously, English teaches like making all kinds of list, not just to-do lists. Yesterday, I made a list of the top-five sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. A little over a week ago, I made a list of potential jobs that I am qualified for besides teaching English. It was a very short list.
Unconventional Fashion Choices
English teachers don’t have a monopoly on dapper dressing, but strange patterns and sartorial frippery seem to show up on English teachers like lichens on the northern side of tree trunks. We’re like birds of paradise (to adopt another nature simile), parading around in multihued splendor while making weird sounds and bizarre gestures. But really, we do it all for your benefit, dear students. Earth tones are boring, and we don’t want you losing interest in all the knowledge we have to impart; we clash because we care.