Jos Teaches English to Ecuadorian Automechanics Students

Jos Teaches English to Ecuadorian Automechanics Students

from the handwritten diary of Jos

The teacher for the Sexto Mecanico didn't show up on Friday and as the students celebrated by making desk sculptures, the school secretary invited me to test the resolve for my new profession by going in cold, an opportunity I hesitantly accepted.

Now my parents know that if there is any skill I was born with, it is knowing how to handle myself in difficult situations. Being an unknown gringo stepping in to substitute teach a class full of greasemonkeys his same age is what I would call a difficult situation.

Just as you'll never lose money underestimating the intelligence of the American public, you'll never lose face underestimating the taste of an Ecuadorean auto mechanic. After a brief review of "What's your name?" I switched the class theme to "How to ask a gringa for a date". I took two volunteers to the front of the class to be our subjects. As there were no women in the class, I asked the class' opinion which of our subjects should be the woman. Needless to say, this was a big hit. For lowest common denominator humor you can always count on questioning a man's sexuality. Nevertheless, I pumped the class for how to pick up a woman in Spanish and we got the whole process down to four questions which I had our participants act out. They were:

  1. "Hello, what's your name?"
  2. "Do you have a boyfriend?"
  3. "Would you like to go to the movies?"

Unfortunately, the fourth question stumped them. Their first two attempts, "Will you be my girl? and "Would you like to have sex?" were both a teeny too direct, so we all finally agreed on

  1. "Would you like to come back to my apartment for a coffee?"

While I'm sure I haven't spawned a new generation of Latin Lovers, I hope at the very least that I taught those guys that English exists for other purposes than just a requirement of high school.