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Sunday, March 27, 2011

On account of my left buttock

This is not much to do with the future, but I thought that for the sake of a light digression I'd drag up something from my not so distant past. In 2002 I was the Director of Studies at an English language prograqmme at Beijing's Number Two Foreign Language University (yeah, the second best one). Just to lighten the moment a little, here are a few things I collected from the students when I was working there. Just in case you are wondering, Peter is a teacher. Some of the excuse notes I received from students are particularly amusing, I think (the students had to write me a note if they were absent from class). Original spellings have been kept. I shared these with the students at the end of the year, but they didn't always know why native speakers found them funny! 


Excuses for being absent from class

These are all taken from notes students wrote to explain absences from class.

My father is come to Beijing. So, I want to play with him. Sorry, I can't get here. 


Dear Marcus,
I was absent from your class yesterday afternoon. Because I felt headache again. Yesterday noon, when I got up from my short nap, I couldn't move further otherwise I would lose my head. My headache has been more seriously than before since last week. I mean maybe I felt so nervous because of the IELTS test. 
Yours Sincerely, Leon

"I had to help my friend find the Malaysian Embassy." 

Deborah (explaining her absence of one week. Hmm, someone should have told here there was one in China)

Dear Marcus,
I'm very sorry, I felt very bad. So I have to go to the dum. I can't come to Your class, 

Justin (he meant "dorm")

I'm sorry I missed so many of your classes this week. I had to go to the hospital for an injection. 

Justin (Hmm, they have loooooong injections in China)

Dear Marcus and Peter,
I did not take care of myself very well, so I caught heat at last. I think I need more exercises to improve my physical quality. All of my classmates suggested that I would better not present the rest of classes and I agree with them. So, please believe me, I am terrible sorry for absent your and Peter's lectures.
Yours: Hanson

Dear Marcus,
I'm sorry I can't go to your class because I got suntorke. 


Dear Marcus,
Today I can't come to your class. I'm sorry to tell you that. Yesterday, I slept in Hanson's dorm. His dorm is hell now. It's unacceptably hot. So I found I was sunstruck. I'm dizzy and adynamic now. Please forgive my absence. Thanks a lot. 

Your student Ma

Dear Marcus,
Yesterday, I was felling unwell, I thought I got sun-stroke. So I took a class. Thank you! Jessica.

Dear Peter:
I'm sorry for havn't been your class. I had have a temperature. Sincerely Your obedient student 


Dear Marcus,
I ate a lot of fruit last night. I got stomachache and felt uncomfortable that it made me sleeping too late. Now I feel tired and still stomachache. So I won't go to school. I'm sorry for absent your class. 

Yours: Cobain.

Dear Marcus,
I am still sick. I try to go to your class but I find it's difficult for me to concentrate in your class so I decide not to go to your class. I'm very sorry. 


Marcus: I was sick this morning and I was awful. So I want to take the morning's class off. I am terribly sorry. David

Dear Marcus,
I'm sorry, because two fuck guys fight each other last night, so it's too noisy. I feel bad this morning. Please forgive me. 

Yours, Amy (It seems I failed to teach them "informal" from formal English)

Dear Marcus,
I was absent from your class this morning because I felt so painful with my left buttock. Last weekend, I have been injured with my buttock when I played a football match with my senior school classmates far away from Erwai (university). Firstly I didn't mind it too much, but it became more swollen and painful. So I couldn't get up on time and went to school by bike myself. I am sorry to say that. Maybe the pain will last for several days, but I have prepared to get up earlier and ask my dormates to send me to the classroom. 


General Quotes

"I spent my holiday in my mother." 


"I spent my holiday playing stimulating games with my boyfriend." 


"Would you like to enjoy us?" 

Rachel, (inviting her teacher Marcus to join her and her friends in a game of darts. (Marcus' response deleted)

Radical Australian History

 There was a short module about Australian history in the programme. Remember, these are Chinese students, and they don't know much about Australia, so forgive them...

It just a short time. After this time, the inland (of Australia) was taken away by James Cook. Winnie

James Cook and the army brought a lot of unhappiness to them (the Aborigines). When they were only living the inland, they were happiness, but finally they were not happiness and peace. 

Winnie (again)

For this next one, you need to know that "yellow movie" means pornographic film in Chinese, the equivalent of "blue movie" in the west. This is from an essay entitled "The Major Cultural Influences in the West."

TV took informations for people, but took some bad things too. There were some channels show the yellow culture or yellow movies to the public. Young people and some people who has a bad mentality did some aberration when they saw the channel. They began to find some ways vent their appetence. Alaway their ways are criminal, it's bad for their lives. 


The ancient Greek people established the earliest and a more perfect feudal monarch institution in 11th century. 


About 50 million years ago, the Aborigines were already lived in Australia. They never killed too much weild animals, they never throw the wasts in to the river, and they never cut down the trees for benefits. 

Toman (Revisionist History at its most radical - good to see benefits weren't taken advantage of in those times so long ago)


  1. These are hysterically funny! I used to teach English and Spanish in middle school. Got a lot of the same excuses - although not as many misspellings!

  2. PS It seems that kids are endlessly creative about why they miss a class, and that's true at any age.