As part of the “Sports Meeting,” students could earn points for their class by writing essays in English or Chinese. So, I spent most of those two days judging some really bad essays. A lot of the essays were pretty similar. They went something like this:
Quite a few of them referred to something they claimed to be a well known saying: “Failure is the mother of success.” I’d never heard that before, so maybe it’s a direct translation of something Chinese, or maybe it’s in one of their weird English text books. Who knows. Anyways, most essays focused about how proud the students were of their athletes, how beautiful the day was, how important their friendship was, how competition wasn’t the main point of sports day. Lots of nice sentiments their teachers ahd fed to them and that they probably didn’t actually believe because my kids were pretty glum about losing.
But every so often, I’d see something like this:
Pretty nonsensical, but also typical in a way. And then you reach the end and … wait? Did that kid actually just write “Bar fight!” in his essay about sportsmanship? Where the heck did he hear that? Probably in a movie he mistook the yells of “bar fight” as cheers of encouragement. Maybe. The world will never know.
And then, sometimes you see something that just blows your mind. Like this:
“…mussels force by pregnancy after suffering a dazzling crystal pearl…”
What?!?! What the heck kind of dictionary was this kid using? Obviously not a very good one.