I was under the impression when turning in my students’ final grades that I wasn’t allowed to fail any of them. That’s not entirely true. Failing them would have caused a lot more suffering for me than it would have for them. Instead of failing the small number of students who never came to my conversational classes, I gave them 60’s.

Any student who receives a grade below 60 is allowed to take a make-up exam. Someone from the school who I’ve probably never met before calls and informs me that I need to come in during my vacation time and administer the test. I turn in the revised grades. Any student who receives a grade lower than a 60 is allowed to take a make-up exam. Someone from the school who I’ve probably only spoken to once before calls and informs me that I need to come in during my vacation time and administer the test. I turn in the revised grades. Any student who receives a grade lower than a 60 is allowed to take a make-up exam.

I based conversational class grades solely on attendance and participation. I had each student talk to me about anything they wanted for five minutes as a formality so I could tell anyone who might give a shit, which no one did, that I actually held a final. Those unfortunates who skipped class regularly received 60s. Some of them knew what was coming and just kind of nodded complacently. They didn’t have a problem with a 60 and we both knew “see you after the break” was probably a lie. But for some, I felt like I was scolding kindergarteners as they shuffled their feet, apologizing half-heartedly, assuring me that they understood the err of their ways. One kid had the audacity to try to convince me that he had a math class at the same time. I shouldn’t even be calling him kid, he’s a fucking year younger than me.

Film class was different. I was planning on making a multiple-choice test that focused mostly on plots, vocabulary words like “satire” and “cameo,” the names of actors and quotes that I deemed significant. (Frankly, I find the very idea of a bug that thinks offensive!) Here’s a practice problem I presented my students with when they began fretting about the exam:

Kevin, the main character in Home Alone, had to protect his house from:

A) His parents.
B) His older brother.
C) Two burglars.
D) Himself.

Most of them got it. Some of them were probably too crippled by face and reserve to say anything but still knew the answer. Some of them, regrettably, probably had no idea. I thought about it and decided that I didn’t care whether or not they knew the answer to this question or any other such insignificant trivia factoids. So the test ended up looking like this:

Write down three thoughts that you have about movies. Each one has to be at least a sentence long. If you discuss the movies we watched in class you will get a better grade.
I would like to share some of my favorite responses with grammar, punctuation and spelling preserved in original form.
Note: They call horror movies “horrible” movies, but they mean horror. I’ve tried to put an end to this several times without success.
Home Alone
The boy, in movie of “Home Alone”, caputured two thieves who were adults that was radiculous in real world.
I like to think that instead of misspelling ridiculous, he was actually combining it with radical.
The child in Home Alone was cute but now became ugly. Terrible!
I like the boy in “Home Alone”. The boy is so clever and lovely. I hope I can have a son as lovely as him.
I guess you missed the first thirty minutes where he just acts like a spoiled little asshole.
I think Home Lonely is an interesting movie. It tells us a lot. Home Lonely tells us we should do our best to defeat bad person.
I think it tells use we should do our best not to neglect our children but whatever. Interesting x 1
The child in Home Alone is so interesting. I am so admire the wisdom of the child.
Interesting x 2
Home Alone is not only a funny movie, but also this movie has some significance.
Go on…

Meet the Parents

Meet parents is funny and interesting. It can be the best fiml film of Ben’s. LoL.
Heavy Weights was actually his best film. This student received a better grade for having the gall to write LoL on an English exam. Interesting x 3

Meet the Parents is also a comedy. One of the actors is Greg Focker.
One of the actors is Greg Focker.
I like “Meet the parents”. The father is very interesting. And the name of the hero is also very interesting. When I watched it, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Interesting x 4 Interesting x 5 Double Interesting
Then I also wanna talk about the actor of “Meet the parents”, He’s kind of funny, naive and fool. He is treated teased by Pam’s father and always at a loss as to what to say, even when he wants to make love with Pam, How embarrassed! The film reflects the things in life, but a little exaggerate.
Cradle 2 The Grave also reflects the things in life, but a little exaggerate. And I hear DMX doesn’t really know what to say when he wants to make love with women either. He just shouts X GON GIVE IT TO YA over and over again. I guess in that respect he knows exactly what to say.
In the film “Meet the Parents”, Robert De Niro who acts as the father of Greg’s girlfriend is possibly the most famous American actor of all time and is often in movies with Joe Pesci, such as Goodfellas.
Glad to see someone’s paying attention when I talk about the stuff that matters.
Meet the parents is also a very interesting movie, and the Hero’s name is very interesting. Now, When we will often use his name to make joke of others.
Interesting x 6 Interesting x 7
Meet Parents, no needless to say, it’s very amusing, and also makes us relax.
The best part is that you don’t even need a prescription.
The father in “Meet the Parents” is severe stern. The boy made so many efforts to let the father accept him. I hope my father will not be so strick to my boyfriend.
That boy done been strick by lightnin’.


“Big.” is one of the most famous American actors of all time. Famous saying “Be careful what you wish for. I tl The movie is very interesting. I like it very much.
To clear up any confusion, his name is Tom Hanks. Interesting x 8
Big .is a film acted by Tom Hanks, The nicest guy in Hollywood. In It talk about a young boy who wish to be an adult, and he realise his dream at an amusement park. When he become an big guy. he miss his childhood. and he return to himself and live a happy life at last. There is a famous say that is be careful what you wish for the moral of “Big”.
Thanks for paying attention when I speak. This one is basically a better version of the previous comment.
Big describes a boy wants to become adult I enjoy it very much.
Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine: Each member of the family has its their own charactristcs charaters. Though the little girl didn’t win in the end, she had shown herself to the others bravely.
Well put.
The Little Sunshine: To be honest, I don’t really understand the movie, I mean the subject of the movie. But I guess the movie wanna express a attitude toward the life. There’s no loser in the society, as long as we strive hard and be ourselves and do whatever we want within the legal range, it’s OK.
One of the most commonly used grammatical constructs in Chinese is “as long as… within the legal range.”
“Little Miss Sunshine”  .   I really love this film, I bet its beginning is different with others and I love this style. The grandpa in this film is a special character I bet, he likes to watch read blue magazines, he drugs, but and he fa teaches his granddaughter to dance like a hooker. The family seems so unharmony and actually it is not harmony, but for the little girl, the get together to drive to the contest place, it’s love’s strength.
Harmony is something of a buzzword here. The government likes to use words like harmony, cooperation and progress to describe everything.
Several episodes of South Park

I like cartoon, all kinds of cartoon. So I love “South Park” very much, even if some parts are disgusting. There is a character I forget his name. He is dead often He’s often dead for laughing. It’s too funny.
I got really happy every time someone made a positive comment about South Park.
I think the South Park is more suitable for Chinese adult. For it tells adult’s stories through children’s mouths. However, it’s wonderful in spite of the hero speaks too fast.
Fair enough.
South Park tells the truth that others do not. I appreciate it.
Hell yeah.
Independence Day

Independence Day is the end of the world as we know it. But there is a problem in it, only American deal with it not everywhere.
That R.E.M. song plays in the beginning of the movie. I told them it was significant. Then I went on a rant about movies that should involve people all over the world but just focus on Americans. Solid answer.
I really love the UFOs in the movie “Independence Day” , they’re really great inventions, if I can drive one some day, I must be very famous.
Infallible logic.
The Independence Day. It is a goo perfect film about the fight between the earth and other plane in the space. Human win the war and protected themselves. It was an new beginning. In this film, it also reflected the important of family.
Good just isn’t strong enough a word.
I like the movie “Independence Day” It is an American movie. It impressed me very much, The movie is directed by Roland Emmerich. The acters played very well in the movie. For example, Will Smith played the role of Captain Steven “Steve” Hiller. He is a very famous actor. and Bull Bill Pullman played the role of President. The people all over the American fight for peace, and they fight for victory, protecting them from the defence of eli alien people.
No bullshit, no fuss. Just the facts, plain and simple.
The movie Independence Day is an action movie or science fiction. I love the movie very much. Many actors attract my attention, such as Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Vivica A. Fox. And I remember Will Smith says, “Welcome to earth.” He’s cool, I’d like to say, Meanwhile, the words said by the president are meaning.
It’s pronounced Earf.
The president of Independence Day had ever made a moving speech before the fighting planes started crush the UFO.
There’s something about Bill Pullman that just makes people gravitate toward him! Haahhahaahaha!!!1
Independence Day is awesome. Welcome to earth! But I hope the alien will never come to earth. Our planet is too crowded.
It’s pronounced Earf. And it is indeed too crowded.
I like what Will Smith act in Independence Day. He is full of responsibility and he must be a qualified husband and father.
Spoken like a true Confucian.
I like the action movie     ,so I really like the Independence day      ,”Well Welcome to the earth.”
Stupid played out joke about vernacular pronunciation that I was tempted to repeat aside, I really want a shirt that says “Well Welcome to the earth.”
Starship Troopers

Starship Trooper may be the most “disgusting” movie I’ve watched. I dare not watch again even though I’ve watch for more than 4 times.
Four times? Guess what scrub, I’ve seen Starship Troopers at least twenty times. Flip three six hole! Cyrano! Go bug mom Cyrano! Zegema Beach! The enemy cannot push a button if you disable his hand! Welcome to the roughnecks. RICO’S ROUGHNECKS! It’s afraid… It’s afraid! Would you like to know more?
I like the movie which involves the action and romance such as Starship Troopers.
Cool. I like it a lot more than you. I have the special edition DVD and there are some awesome featurettes about how they created the bugs. When they talk about the brain bug, the guy who was in charge of the design tells a great story where he asked Paul Verhoeven what he was looking for and Paul Verhoeven, like a boss, says “Maybe it should look like an anus. Maybe it should look like a vagina. But I don’t know.” Oh, he knew. And from then on the crew affectionately referred to it as the “Poogina.”
Although Star Ship trooper is very exiting, some scenes of film are too disgusting, and I can’t bear it.
I can never pick a favorite scene. How do you compare Captain Deladier getting severed in half by a malfunctioning door on her recently destroyed vessel to Johnny Rico using his space football techniques to stabilize himself on the back of a tanker bug, cracking a hole through its shell with bullets and blowing it up with a grenade? The only logical conclusion is that they’re both God tier moments that provide the viewer with equal amounts of pleasure. And there are so many others like it.
The movie about space war is a little disgusting sometimes.
I love the role Denise Richards plays during the football game. Obviously we want to believe that she’s totally devoted to Johnny and it’s just in her nature to be flirtatious when she helps Zander up and makes small talk with him. Then when Johnny scores the winning touchdown and she bolts onto the field to embrace him, there’s a split-second of pure genius. She’s running toward Johnny with this beaming smile on her face and she hugs him, then looks at Zander, only for a second, still smiling, as if to silently say “fuck you bro,” then turns back to Johnny and they make out.
“Starship troopers” It’s cruel, but we beat it at last, human’s strength is hugh huge!
It’s a satire.
I still don’t think Brad Pitt is hot. I thought he has not done a good job in the movie The Curious of Benjamin Button.
I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in theaters because my mom made me see it with our family. There’s a part where an old lady is sitting in a rocking chair and it looks like she’s sleeping but everyone in the audience knows she’s dead. Brad Pitt asks her if she wants to go to the store and she doesn’t respond because she’s dead. I shouted out “guess not,” but to my dismay no one else thought it was a funny riff.
Movies can reflect many thoughts of people’s happiness, saddness, successful feeling, depression and so on.
Just like a mirror, or a pond.
I don’t like horrible movies, especially the sounds and the images of them.
I don’t like cantaloupe, especially the way it smells and tastes.
Movies are based on our real life, so through watching movies, people could understand many things which in the real life they can’t understand.
Some movies, like Kids in the Sandbox, BME Pain Olympics, and 27 Dresses, raise more questions than answers.
I wish we also can see see some horrible movies, I think the whole class get together to see horrible movie must be very funny and interesting and exciting.
Interesting x 9
I have seen Lost for aabout a year    ,   until now I still feel a little confused. I’m wondering if I will continue.
It’s purgatory.
Adventure is the common human personality. And many movie producers makes full use of thist this point to produce nice and classic works.
Nice? Interesting x 10
I like American movies very much, especially the American funny movie which the romantic story happened in the campus between the handsome guy and a pretty lady.
I’m also a pretty big fan of “Coeds Need Cash.”

The responses above were taken from the tests of students who received average grades. Their tests usually had one or two completely thoughtless and unprovocative statements accompanied by one or two amusing or somewhat insightful statements. A few students did very well. A few students would have done better if they hadn’t written anything at all. Either way, their exams are worth reading in their entirety.
Hat Tricks

1. “Home Alone” is very interesting. I’ve seen the impressive movie in my Junior Middle School. The little boy’s performance is excellent. It seems that in the western countries there are many children who are famous in the movie industry, but in China, there’re not.
2. “Little Miss Sunshine” is very unique. Grandfather is so funny that he teaches his granddaughter to dance like that. What is most moving is their relationships in family. I think parents are the most important part in my life.
3. “South Park” is a wonderful TV series because I’ve not seen such ironic TV in China. Usually, these kind of movies are forbidden to broadcast here. I think it is good for the movie maker to make some movies that can reflect the reality, that’s striking and impressive.
Home Alone is the most interesting story film that I have ever seen.
I hope this class can be more interesting.
I’d like to see more films that reflect the daily life of American.
1. The blizzard that hit Southern part is really large
2. Love never means ya you are sorry
3. You are such a disease
1. Films produced by Hollywood are excellent and attractive.
2. I don’t approve people go to cinemas to watch film foreign movies to give our money to a aliens.
3. In recent years, Indian movies are developing faster and faster, many of them are very good.
I like the romatic movie very much.         Titanic
I like the action-comedy movie like Mr and Mrs Smith
I like the Independence Day   , the human beings unite together
1. I’m sorry that I can’t remember the English names of the movies we saw, but I do remember the Chinese names. For instance, the first film we saw is called 《小鬼当家》,the Little boy in it is so cute and smart. And it can be defined as a comedy, because the tricks and strategies in it are so funny.
2. (We watched Beverly Hills Cop but I told the students they didn’t have to worry about it since I never officially talked about it) The film we saw last time is quite funny, too. The hero, the intelligent policeman is a perfect policeman in my mind. Different with other police guys, he is not so odd. I do hope that the policemen in our real life can be that kind.
3. The films about the strange creatures or I can call them monsters are really horrible. In my opinion, It’s more like a scary movies. But I really like it, because it draws my attention and the soilders are so brave that every girl will fall in love with them.
To sum up, among all kinds of films, except for documentaries, I like all of them. But absolutely, besides the boring ones.
Little miss Sunshine: “Am I pretty?”
Starship Troopers: we beat it
meet the parents: Are you “Fucker”?
                           where is my cat?
1. Movie can teach me a lot. When I sad or happy I can stay with movie and it will help me to get happiness.
2. Such as “Prison Break”, in some aspects, it was my support in my life, because in that period I was wandering and boring, and this that movie helps me found my goal.
3. Movie is the most amazing thing I have ever met. It is my best friend in my spare time.
1. I like “Starship Troopers” very much. It told us that united can win the war.
2. “Starship Troopers” showed advanced technology.
3. “Starship Troopers” is a movie that show us the power of military is very important.
1. I like the action movies, expecially acted by Julie
2. I also like some movies about vampires, and sometimes, I really w dream of changing to a vampire.
3. When I feel boring, or sad, I’ll see some funny movies, when I see that, I’ll laugh happily, then I’ll have a good day.
1. “Little Ms Sunshine”  Am I pretty?
2. “Home Alone”  Take care of yourself
3. “Give Olive a Hug”  Give Olive a hug!
“Meeting Parents”
1. This is one of the funniest movie I’ve ever watched. It is about a man-nurse Mr. Forker went to meet his girlfriend’s parents. And there are something fun were happened.
2. It is clearly seemed that his girlfriend’s father didn’t like him. Father liked his daughter’s former boyfriend. So Mr. Forker did so many things to make her parents like him.
3. The scene of this movie which I like is that, one day her parents lost his cat, its his love cat, so Mr. Forker decided to look for his cat, but he had no idea, so finally he got another cat and spay on its tail.
1. The movie “Starship Troopers is one of my favorite movies.
2. We boys got very excited about South Park.
3. Movies bring us a lot. Sometimes We get much more than leisure. Sometimes we laugh with tears. Even, we feel ourselves are the actors. We can In a whole we get a lot from movies.
1. Action movie
2. Comedy movie
3. Tra Disaster movie
After “Action movie Comedy movie Disaster movie,” there’s really nothing more to be said. I am going to try to update again as soon as possible. Next time more than half of the content will actually be written by me. The post is going to be about Christmas and Christmas looks like this:

2 responses to “Thoughts

  1. >You are such a disease

  2. >This must be my favorited post in the legal range. Interesting!

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