Monday, July 26, 2010

Medical Misunderstanding

I've got one last story from the opportunity class before I go back to my regularly scheduled summer.  (Well, at least I think this will be the last story.)  I think this happened on Wednesday, but the week is already getting a little fuzzy.

It was later in the day (Santiago's last hour). The students were busy ignoring their assignments.  Gilberto had a question for me: "What's the name of that disease where your blood turns into water?"

I had never heard of such a thing, and I said so.  Gilberto asked what blood diseases I had heard of, and I listed two.  Nope, these weren't it.  I said that I didn't think there was such a thing as what Gilberto described, but, "I'm not a medical expert.  I may never have heard of it."

Gilberto started laughing.  He was saying and doing things that I did not quite understand.  Then I figured out what it was he was referencing.  When I said medical, he heard medical marijuana, and he was reacting as such.

I attempted to explain that the word medical has nothing to do with illegal drugs (generally).  But he was having none of it.  Apparently, I had admitted to...  I'm not sure what I had admitted to.  There was a not in my sentence.

But these kids hear what they want to hear.  And when they don't understand, they make assumptions, and no amount of explanation will dissuade them from the conclusion they jumped to (often over distances as vast as the Grand Canyon).

Every time I used medical after that, I was greeted with fits of laughter.  They mimicked...well, you know.  However, soon enough the conversation drifted onto something else.

Did they get any work done?  Of course not.

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