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May I go? Can I go? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-3-17 04:52:08 |Display all floors
Teachers are supposed to be fair and not pick favourites among the students. They are not supposed to show a dislike for students either. But it happens. I am sure that my Grade 11 English/ home room teacher disliked me.

On the first day of school, back in September, 1965, I needed a new lock for my locker. The old one that I had used since Grade 9, had disappeared during the summer holidays. As the first class ended, I approached the teacher:

Me:                 "Sir, can I buy a new lock at the front office?"

Teacher:       You're old enough to do things like that without checking with me!

I was embarrassed and a little hurt by the conversation. Later I realised that he though I was asking him for permission to buy a new lock , while in fact, I was just asking him if it was possible to do so.

My language was correct. You would not think that an English teacher would mis-interprete. Obviously the man didn't like me.  I should have retorted " Sir, if I was asking you for permission, I would have said 'may'. But I was asking if it was possible, so I said 'can'."

That was 43 years ago. I still remember. If I could live my life over, that it one little scenario I would like to have a second chance at.

By the way, I'll be honest with all of you here. As a native speaker, I never say "may I?". I always say "Can I?" for both types of questions..

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Post time 2008-3-17 05:07:22 |Display all floors

honest to my gee oh dee...

Originally posted by ronglimeng at 3/16/08 03:52 PM
Teachers are supposed to be fair and not pick favourites among the students. They are not supposed to show a dislike for students either. But it happens. I am sure that my Grade 11 English/ home ro ...


your TEACH was so lucky for not having me in his 11th grade classroom or his entire teaching career ...he WILL have a talk with me in the principal office (not for beatin him up but civilize talk 'tween a teacher & his student).  i am a very gentle & courteous vietnamese refugee boi that has alot of energy & willin to learn my ABC  ;P;P

PS!  for now i dont want to tell you folks what i did during my 1 year in high school cafeteria & after school...let put it this way, NYPD had to radio in  ;P;P;P

you complaining 'bout milk & cookies...him talkabout dedication for a student like me  ;P;P;P

[ Last edited by pjtran at 2008-3-16 04:20 PM ]

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Post time 2008-3-17 19:43:36 |Display all floors
.
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Dear RLM,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am sorry to learn your sad experience. No doubt,  no teacher should treat a kid like that rudely.

Well, teachers are supposed to fair without preference or prejudice to their own students, yet they are not all saints. Even a superman has kryptonites. He might be not in a mood at that time. If time can't heal your wound of this, I wish the great toleration of yours could soothe it bit by bit. Or you can give him a buzz, just say hello and tell how you felt, if he still is alive. I was hurt sometimes, but I often tell to myself that take it easy and they are not really important and just take account of those you love. This is the small way to comfort my distressed emotions by myself.  

As to the question about the grammar, You know, I believe in you. May you go? Can you go? Don't go. Please stay with us in this BBS and have fun together.  I like this story.
:)
Talk in English rather than talking about English.

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Post time 2008-3-18 00:56:25 |Display all floors
After 40 years, you still have a grudge. You should start letting go. I have grudges against my teachers for being unfair. You always think back what will happen if you did talk back. I understand what you mean by teachers having favorites. I had to work hard for my grades rather than my pretty friends. All they have to do is sweet talk to the teachers and it's all good. I start giving attitudes to the teachers who like pretty people. My grades went down. Ohh well.. I was once favorites to teachers too because of my grades. I guess it goes both way. Whatever happened in the past, you and I should learn how to let go. Working hard is the only way to progress in the society if you don't have the looks or the mouth. May I or can I will not have changed your situation when the mind has set to hate you. Good Luck!!

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Post time 2008-3-18 21:51:06 |Display all floors

..

well, i see. using correct and exact word is really important.

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Post time 2008-3-29 18:40:53 |Display all floors

May I go? Can I go?...2 b r not 2 b

May I go? Can I go?

Me:                 "Sir, can I buy a new lock at the front office?" (can means are you able or are you capable of buying the lock... of course you are capable... Anyone can go and buy a lock.)

Teacher:       You're old enough to do things like that without checking with me! (he might have said "I don't know, can you???)

... western people... or rather, American people that are friends do this to each other commonly. It is light hearted sarcasm and not intended to offend. We know what the other person means but technically, they used the wrong English... but it is teasing and not serious... just joking.
Really, in the USA, the English teacher is not fun... they are full of rules and would correct you in a similar way... so when you are an adult, you might make a joke to another adult by saying what your grade school teacher might have said.

The teacher must like you because you would not play this word trick on someone that you did not consider to be a friend.


Take care and relax...

Don

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Post time 2008-3-29 23:04:18 |Display all floors
actually i didn't know these "may" and "can" can make so much difference...
爱情什么都象,就是不象爱情...Love is a Fallacy

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