At this tender point in my tenure with my school, I have only a few regular shifts. Every once in a while, when, I suppose, there is a surplus of substitute teachers, I have been called in to do something out of the norm. Today was one of those days.
I received a call from the principal last night I was helping some other idle teachers glue together signs. He asked me if I would come in today at 11 to help the research department with some vocal recordings. I enjoy teaching plenty but certainly don’t mind a break in the routine – plus, the idea of helping with vocal research intrigued me. It also gave me yet another opportunity to torture Sean, my Irish neighbor, about the superiority of the American dialect. After all, why else would they have chosen me, a North American, to speak into a microphone and help the company perform research on the spoken language? Obviously, I, an American, was chosen for the even, steadied mellifluency of my accent, the pinnacle of the English tongue’s evolution …
Little pleasures, folks. Little pleasures.
The actual research was kinda fun – along with Pat, another American (natch!!!!), I was asked to read phrases from a sheet of paper. Every once in a while we were asked to repeat ourselves because we had pronounced a “t” too sharply or weren’t “genki (lively!).”
After 2 hours, we were released. The staff congratulated me on my readings and Pat, a speech pathologist in his former life, told me that I had a great presence and was “a natural.” Afterwards, I helped the principal staple 250 copies of the dress code booklet together and then folded brochures for the remainder of my shift.
All in a day’s work, folks. All in a day’s work.