tricia868: (2.99999999)
[personal profile] tricia868
I've been teaching for almost a month now. I currently live in a small city in the coffee region of Colombia, working at a public technical college with free tuition. I'm scheduled to stay through June, but I'm leaning toward extending my stay for another 6 months.

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Back to the topic at hand...

My students are a very mixed group of skill/knowledge levels when it comes to English, because they're sorted by field of study rather than by English level. I teach at a beginner level and am incredibly grateful the more knowledgeable students have good attitudes and are willing to participate.

Every day at the end of class, my most advanced student asks me an interesting question. Today, he asked about gender and pronoun use. He'd heard that "they" is used as a gender neutral singular pronoun, and was curious as to whether that was accurate and why. "It," he thought, was already a gender neutral singular pronoun, and he wanted to know if it was rude to use that, since it made more sense to him than "they" did.

I talked about how there ARE people who identify as neither masculine nor feminine and choose to use "it" as their pronoun. I explained that the reason using "it" without this permission can be offensive is because the word is associated with objects, with things that are neither alive nor intelligent. "They" is less grammatically correct but more commonly accepted.

Every day, he surprises me. Every day, it's a pleasant surprise.

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Tomorrow I'm going to the national coffee park... which apparently has everything from a museum of coffee to shows to roller coasters and other rides. Then I'm spending the night at a finca, a coffee farm. I have a feeling avoiding caffeine will be harder than usual this weekend. How rude is it to go to all the coffee attractions and not DRINK any coffee?
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