It’s regularly interspersed with please don’t talk all at once and an exasperated plea to stop talking!
I’ve even resorted to bell ringing in a futile effort to silence the group of teenagers babbling simultaneously at high volume.
They still ignore me, though.
Another key cornerstone of the Toastmasters program is listening, although this is a new concept for some teenagers.
And while a few of them are visibly nervous about speaking in front of their peers, they don’t hesitate to shout across the room from the safety of a seated position.
They’re especially vocal about why we invite their parents to the graduation night. If I could just channel that exuberance into their speech efforts…
This year’s group seems especially unruly. Perhaps it’s the heightened effects of the Gen Y gap; although I suspect Monday’s full moon (and partial lunar eclipse) had something to do with their rowdy behavior last week.
Now, before you discount this theory as lunacy – which, by the way, comes from the Latin word for moon - consider these informal observations of different groups during the past two years: on several occasions while pondering I wonder what’s gotten into these students today, I noticed our class session was 1-2 days before the full moon.
Here are some more observations:
Full moon madness
• Hospital accident and emergency units see about 10% more patients
• Significant increase in medical consultations after the full moon
• Dramatic rise in admissions to psychiatric hospitals
• Animals are more restless and unruly during a full moon
Source: Wicca spirituality
Apparently, lunar related behaviours were so widespread in Britain they created the 1824 Lunacy Act, which stated that people were liable to go mad when the moon was full.
Not convinced? Just ask any mother with children.
I wonder if there’s a similar Act for erratic animal behaviour? Consider Kitty, the upstairs-based feline, who deposited the remnants of a rodent head and intestines on the front door mat on Monday morning. Coincidence? Or just attention-seeking?
Y oh Y?
When I taught English in Japan many years ago, my students were adults, ranging from businessmen to university students and housewives. They were dedicated, if somewhat reserved, and showed utmost respect to their sensei.
Our English classes were orderly, quiet and peaceful. There was definitely no shush-ing or bell ringing.
No one argued or challenged me, even when I accidentally finished class an hour early one day; they all dutifully filed out of the classroom as I handed out their homework.
Fast forward to an Australian classroom in 2012:
“Who wrote this?”
“It’s feedback about your speech.”
“Miss, do I have to stand up when I talk?”
“But we’re just wasting time having to stand up.”
“No, you’re wasting time by interrupting and arguing with each other.”
“Miss, can we do the story game again?”
“No, it’s time to practice impromptu speaking topics.”
“But, Miss, we really like the story game.”
Despite their brashness and rowdy behaviour, I’m amazed by their passion and vision. I’m left with a feeling of WOW with some of their speech presentations at the end of the eight-week course.
The full moon just adds more lively interactions to our classroom sessions.
What are your full moon experiences?