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"Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris


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Me Talk Pretty One Day – By David Sedaris

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Mar 10
Ella M (Mar 10 2021 11:41AM) : Title-Humor and Hint more

The title alludes to what comes in the following paper. Sedaris is a language learner, and a langue learner often mixes their grammar up. This also details what Sedaris might want-to talk pretty one day in his learned language.

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Mar 10
Heather P (Mar 10 2021 11:49AM) : Speaker/ Author more

David Sedaris is not only the one writing the text, he lived the text. That makes this piece David’s narrative, about a certain situation that he went through in his life.

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Mar 10
Daniel M (Mar 10 2021 1:28PM) : The Title more

When I first read the title I felt it gave off the idea that we were about to read a piece about an immigrant who would one day be goo at speaking English. Instead the piece was about a fluent English speaker who was trying to learn French at a much higher level than before, and was quite terrible at such.

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Mar 10
Katherine H (Mar 10 2021 2:40PM) : The Title more

This title definitely was misleading, with the incorrect English. You would not expect this to be a fluent speaker of English. It was actually really interesting.

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Mar 11
Emma G (Mar 11 2021 1:27PM) : Title more

When I read the title, I was not expecting to read text about an English speaker who is learning French. I thought it would be about someone who is learning English. The title set up the text in a way that made me unaware of the actually story behind the text. However, I found this text quite interesting.

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Mar 12
Katie L. B (Mar 12 2021 9:57AM) : Replying to Emma more

I agree with what you are saying about the title. At first, by reading the title, I was not for sure what this story was about. After reading the text, it began coming together. The text was very intriguing!

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Mar 11
Emma P (Mar 11 2021 6:04PM) : Title more

The title brings off a sense of confusion for the readers. With the title not having proper English,one can infer that the author is learning a new language whether it is English or another language.

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Mar 12
Lauren T (Mar 12 2021 1:25PM) : Audience more

I think this article is specifically directed to those who are learning a new language. No matter the age or gender, just people who are attempting to learn and understand a language different from their first language.

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Mar 12
Lauren T (Mar 12 2021 1:26PM) : Title more

Although the title is misleading in some ways based on the grammar usage, you would think he is learning English. I see the purpose of the title though, because many people consider French and Spanish the two love languages. I personally tie French with love because of Paris and the romance in the city, so to me the language is pretty.

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Mar 12
Lauren T (Mar 12 2021 1:29PM) : Tone more

I think the tone begins with the authors humility and humor. The author is aware of his inability to speak French, and is humble in the way he understands he isn’t immediately going to be good at speaking French. He uses comedy to keep the reader interested and involved in the text he is conveying.

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Mar 12
Avery E (Mar 12 2021 7:55PM) : Speaker more

David Sedaris, the author, followed by details about him in paragraph 3 – as this is written in first person.

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Mar 13
Destiny B (Mar 13 2021 1:18PM) : First impressions of the title more

I first thought the story would be about a foreigner learning to speak English, or a poorly educated individual. However the story is instead about the author’s real struggles to learn the French language.

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From his book Me Talk Pretty One Day

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At the age of forty-one, I am returning to school and have to think of myself as what my French textbook calls “a true debutant.” After paying my tuition, I was issued a student ID, which allows me a discounted entry fee at movie theaters, puppet shows, and Festyland, a far-flung amusement park that advertises with billboards picturing a cartoon stegosaurus sitting in a canoe and eating what appears to be a ham sandwich.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:04AM) : Early Examples of Tone more

Sedaris finds himself as a non-traditional student working within a subject with which he has little experience.

He is not a “true debutante” by way of the implication of the word. This is the way he sees himself.

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Mar 11
mia p (Mar 11 2021 10:27PM) : speaker more

The author, which is Davis, is also the grownup who lived this story. He wrote it, as he lived it.

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Mar 12
Emme R (Mar 12 2021 12:26AM) : Speaker more

This is the introduction of the speaker of the piece, giving details about the character.

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Mar 12
Branden N (Mar 12 2021 12:27AM) : Theme more

An early theme that may be taken away from this first paragraph is that he starts the writing by telling the reader how out of place he feels.

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Mar 12
Dominic D (Mar 12 2021 6:56PM) : Intro more

I feel like the purpose of this paragraph is to be a narratio. This paragraph gives a lot of information. Another thing to note about this paragraph is the early development of a tone. The early tone seems to be comedic.

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Mar 15
Austin D (Mar 15 2021 10:59AM) : Author/Narrator more

This gives us an introduction to our narrator and the current environment he has found himself in.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 7:13AM) : Tone really begins right here if you know what a "debutante" or a "deb" is. . .
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Mar 10
Heather P (Mar 10 2021 11:37AM) : Audience more

David’s audience could be people with a similar situation as David, whether that be being in a language class and not understanding it or going back to school as an older adult and feeling intimidated at first.

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Mar 10
Heather P (Mar 10 2021 12:01PM) : Context more

David’s context is, he has gone back to school at the age of forty-one in Paris, as an American,to deepen his knowledge of the French language. Before Covid-19 at this school we had foreign exchange students from Germany. I made friends with one of them named Naomi, sometimes it was hard for us to communicate because even though she understood English she did not always have the words to get her point across. Just like David mentions in his text.

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Mar 10
K B
(Mar 10 2021 1:48PM) : Immediate Precursor more

The phrase “a true debutant” refers to someone who is a “new adult”; a person making a debut into whatever they’ve wandered into. Sedaris sets himself up here to be a newbie.

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Mar 11
Eli H (Mar 11 2021 1:15PM) : Tone more

The tone begins with the first paragraph. It’s humble and comedic, with the author not quite understanding the words coming out of the teacher’s mouth and listing his perceptions with levity. At the end of the passage, the tone does become more uplifting while still being comedic.

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Mar 11
Brandon M (Mar 11 2021 1:28PM) : An appeal more

In this part right here I feel David Sedaris is setting up his appeal to his audience. He shares details about himself that many can sympathize with. He is a student, which is already one thing, but he is also forty-one. An age I can imagine most would not want to be while still being in school as a student.

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Mar 12
Ryan S (Mar 12 2021 10:01AM) : Audience/Speaker more

In this first statement the author establishes who the speaker is and his situation, and in doing this he also shows that this essay seems to be for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation.

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Mar 10
Addyson D (Mar 10 2021 1:07PM) : Imagery more

David Sedaris uses imagery when talking about the billboard of the stegosaurus in a canoe eating a sandwich.

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Mar 12
Brianna B (Mar 12 2021 7:27PM) : Setting the scene more

Sedaris is setting the scene of the essay by explaining what he was doing and what he was issued. It is showing that he is a student, about to embark on his educational journey.

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Mar 16
Devonny W (Mar 16 2021 12:41PM) : mood more

sedaris using a dull feeling intro to set the mood for the beginning of this piece. it doesn’t seem like he is eager to go back to collage.

I’ve moved to Paris with hopes of learning the language. My school is an easy ten-minute walk from my apartment, and on the first day of class I arrived early, watching as the returning students greeted one another in the school lobby. Vacations were recounted, and questions were raised concerning mutual friends with names like Kang and Vlatnya. Regardless of their nationalities, everyone spoke what sounded to me like excellent French. Some accents were better than others, but the students exhibited an ease and confidence that I found intimidating. As an added discomfort, they were all young, attractive, and well-dressed, causing me to feel not unlike Pa Kettle trapped backstage after a fashion show.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 9:08PM) : A Way into Analysis (Rhetorical) more

One way into analysis of a text is to ask yourself, “What is happening within this paragraph? If it were a room, how is it arranged? What is its overall purpose within the whole of the ‘house’ of the essay?”

Here, it seems the author separates himself from the rest of the student group, by way of appearances.

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Mar 12
Jordyn R (Mar 12 2021 2:47AM) : Setting the Scene more

David uses this paragraph to paint the picture of a school environment very different from what we would originally imagine. His experience is so completely new to us as a reader, so it’s necessary for him to help us to understand. He sets the scene of being in a new country to learn their native language, of being older than most others in his school, of not knowing a single other person. We’ve all felt like outsiders, but I argue most have never been to this extent of being alone. Him setting the scene like this is to benefit his audience and to draw out some early sympathy points from them.

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Mar 12
Branden N (Mar 12 2021 1:29PM) : Background more

Background knowledge is essential for setting the scene for a writing. This background knowledge will likely connect to a piece somewhere in the future.

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Mar 12
Joseph L (Mar 12 2021 11:32PM) : agree more

I agree with this I feel like if I don’t get enough background information I tend to feel a little lost in some of the story later on.

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Mar 13
Sydney S (Mar 13 2021 3:21AM) : Giving surroundings more

David lays out the details of the school. He talks about his early arrival to see what it was like and how he was intimidated because of everyone’s well-spoken French and how much younger they were. He paints a clear picture of the students talking and his feelings to help the reader imagine the scene.

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Mar 13
Avery E (Mar 13 2021 9:01AM) : Tone more

In paragraph 4, the author seems spontaneous to me. He also seems like he pays attention to detail. With relation to the tone of the text, it seems to be attentive to detail, a little careless, overwhelming, all based on his emotions.

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Mar 15
Emily W (Mar 15 2021 12:58AM) : Context more

In this paragraph, David explains the context of this essay. He explains that he is going to a school in Paris for the first time, while other students are returning. He says that his school is a ten minute walk from his apartment and that it seemed like everyone was speaking perfect french. He also says that he felt intimidated because they were all “young, attractive, and well-dressed”.

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Mar 10
Gavin L (Mar 10 2021 9:04PM) : Moving Far From Home [Edited] more

Sedaris has moved from New York all the way to Paris, France so that he can learn the French language. This is a huge commitment for someone to do, especially because the only French he knows is that which he picked up in Normandy and in his month long French class in New York.

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Mar 11
K B
(Mar 11 2021 2:49AM) : Leap of Faith more

Moved to a foreign country that predominantly speaks a language you are less than fluent in? Goodness. That’s certainly a difficult situation to put yourself in, but I do hear that immersive learning is quite effective.

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Mar 11
Katherine H (Mar 11 2021 3:56AM) : agree more

This is a valid point. I do not think people realize how stressful and out of place people feel when they cannot speak the same language as everyone else.

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Mar 13
Lauren T (Mar 13 2021 2:19AM) : Leap of Faith more

I agree. Leaving what you are used to, and what you have previously been comfortable with is extremely difficult. It makes it even more difficult when you do not feel welcomed in the place you are coming to whether it be due to language barriers, or cultural differences.

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Mar 12
Brandon M (Mar 12 2021 2:39AM) : Audience more

I think the main audience for this piece are those learning a new language, just like David was. Throughout the whole piece his main focus is on learning how to speak French fluently and what he did not know. Even the title of the piece has to do with speaking and speaking correctly

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Mar 13
Madison A (Mar 13 2021 1:52AM) : trusting the process more

To want to move to a different country to learn the language seems difficult and stressful. I would just want to take a different language class in my school or hire a tutor. You would probably learn the language quicker and want to study as much as possible so then you can understand people though. It would also be like studying that language 24/7 since everyone is speaking it. It seems to be more effective in the long run but very stressful.

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Mar 13
Dominic D (Mar 13 2021 8:27AM) : State of Mind more

This sentence relates well to the theme that is state of mind. Moving in to Paris, the narrator comes in with the mindset of adapting to a new land. This shows a lot about his character.

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Mar 13
Avery E (Mar 13 2021 9:05AM) : Context more

It is important to realize the context of any piece or it can be confusing to learn from if you don’t understand the “whys.” David moved to Paris because he wanted to learn a new language. I feel that is he foundation of this story.

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Mar 11
Ethan N (Mar 11 2021 12:39AM) : Alienation more

All the students in the school recounting their summers makes Sedaris feel alone at the school, as he has no companionship, not only due to his nationality and language, but also due to the age difference between himself and his peers. This sense of belonging will come later, as the students band together to make it through the class.

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Mar 11
Kali M (Mar 11 2021 12:21PM) : Personal Connection more

The quote “and on the first day of class I arrived early, watching as the returning students greeted one another in the school lobby.” David speaks that he watched the others around him greet each other. However, he did not know anyone. This can be a moment of fear for him. I can personally connect to this situation. When I was in the fourth grade I moved to a school in northern Indiana for 6 months. On my first day of school I was very nervous. I did not know anyone around me. But everyone around me knew each other. For me this was a haunting moment, which reading this piece brought back that feeling as a scared 10 year old. Thankfully someone reached out to me and invited me to join them for lunch. It is good to be kind to others, even if you may not know them. I will never forget that moment.

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Mar 12
Lindsay B (Mar 12 2021 12:13PM) : Assumptions more

The author’s viewing of the other students in the classroom is surprised. He did not expect people of different nationalities to speak excellent French.

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Mar 12
Yahir V (Mar 12 2021 2:25AM) : Looks can be deceiving more

People can have a full grasp on a lot of things while not looking like they know these things. I know some people who are Scandinavian who are perfectly fluent in Spanish. People’s looks have absolutely nothing to do with their skills.

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Mar 12
Katie B (Mar 12 2021 8:10AM) : I Noticed this too more

Many people have stigmas and stereotypes towards random people without having spoken a word to that person. This says a lot about humanity and how we, as humans, have common stereotypes for language, demeanor, and personality.

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Mar 13
Lauren T (Mar 13 2021 2:21AM) : Aware more

I realized this as well. People jump to stereotypical conclusions so fast, and immediately act like they know everything about someone just by their physical appearance and the way they present themselves.

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Mar 12
Trey S (Mar 12 2021 2:13AM) : intimidation more

Sedaris says how the other students mastery of the language intimidates him because he has yet to achieve it.

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Mar 12
Ava R (Mar 12 2021 7:38AM) : I agree more

I think that it would be very intimidating coming to a new place and not knowing the language that good and knowing all the other students are more advance then you are. This can relate back to other students in today’s day because not everyone learns the same way and some subjects are harder to others.

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Mar 13
R S
(Mar 13 2021 1:42AM) : First Day Jitters more

Sedaris is speaking of something most people have gone through at least once, lack of confidence, specifically on the first day of school. He is stating something that most people can relate to and have experiences of their own to compare to.

He is also setting up for a major contradiction when these same confident French speakers express their struggles.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 9:07PM) : Imagery/Figurative Language/Simile: Pa Kettle (allusion) more

See how a reference can actually have multiple descriptors?

Ma and Pa Kettle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_and_Pa_Kettle?scrlybrkr=b3738e0d

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Mar 11
Grant M (Mar 11 2021 9:23PM) : Audience more

The audience can be about anyone who finds this story interesting. This book would be good for someone who interested in learning french and would like an interesting story to go along with it.

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Mar 12
Emma G (Mar 12 2021 2:34AM) : Audience more

I agree with what Grant said. I think this could be written for anyone who is learning a new language. They could be in high school taking a language or going back to school like Sedaris wrote about.

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Mar 12
Eli H (Mar 12 2021 2:47AM) : Sympathy more

Paragraph 4 describes the author’s feelings of mental distance from his peers. He relies on the audience’s experiences of alienation and embarrassment to sell that he feels incompetent. It also makes later scenes where everyone is struggling with the language more poignant, because there is no longer a divide between the author and his fellow students.

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Mar 13
Brianna B (Mar 13 2021 8:30AM) : Nerves more

Sedaris is showing his vulnerability in this sentence by explaining the discomfort he has by being the oldest student there. He is showing how he is nervous for his new course and expressing why.

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Mar 14
Destiny B (Mar 14 2021 2:24AM) : Tone [Edited] more

Sedaris makes a light hearted and humorous joke about him being older than all the other students within his class, comparing himself to ‘Pa Kettle backstage after a fashion show’.

The first day of class was nerve-racking because I knew I’d be expected to perform. That’s the way they do it here – it’s everybody into the language pool, sink or swim. The teacher marched in, deeply tanned from a recent vacation, and proceeded to rattle off a series of administrative announcements. I’ve spent quite a few summers in Normandy, and I took a monthlong French class before leaving New York. I’m not completely in the dark, yet I understood only half of what this woman was saying.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:09AM) : First Day Experience more

Sedaris is setting up a scene in this paragraph and what follows is a suggested transcript of that moment that teacher says something to the group.

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Mar 10
Josiah F (Mar 10 2021 11:37AM) : New experience more

The author is explaining his first experience in a french classroom and how he only understand half of what the professor is saying due to the language barrier. It would be a tough situation to be in. I also remember taking Spanish and not knowing a single word of what the teacher was saying.

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Mar 11
Lacey T (Mar 11 2021 4:20PM) : Nerve-racking more

He knew he was going to have to be ready for the first day because this was when people stood out. Which made him nervous but he had to be prepared for anything.

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Mar 11
Emma P (Mar 11 2021 6:09PM) : Purpose more

This paragraph demonstrates the purpose of this excerpt. The purpose of the excerpt is showing life as a non-fluent individual in a new country, along with the hardships they might face.

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Mar 11
mia p (Mar 11 2021 10:30PM) : purpose more

The purpose of this text is to explain why the author is specifically here and what he is there to learn.

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Mar 12
Joseph L (Mar 12 2021 10:38AM) : Relatable more

Whenever I know I have to present something in front of my class or perform I get nervous as well

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Mar 12
Anna H (Mar 12 2021 11:57AM) : The nerve wracking part is so relatable. But it’s also easy to forget in this that the author is 41 years old.
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Mar 12
Braxton S (Mar 12 2021 1:47PM) : "Me Talk Pretty One Day" more

This is relatable because every time I start something new I get a little nervous.

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Mar 11
Yahir V (Mar 11 2021 1:21PM) : Sink or swim more

Sometimes teachers do not wait for students to get a clear grasp on what they’re learning. They often leave others behind who end up never fully catching up. One bad grade on a quiz or test and they could fail the quarter, or even the semester.

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Mar 11
Ava R (Mar 11 2021 6:22PM) : Comparison more

I think it is very interesting here how David says you either “sink or swim”, because that is how life is. The comparison can likely be related with other things rather than just school. He could be saying this to show that to be able to swim you have to be successful in your everyday life or you could choose to sink, which would mean you would fail.

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Mar 11
Katie B (Mar 11 2021 7:13PM) : Comparison more

This comparison of sink or swim is an honest outlook on life. Our inner thoughts can either be our greatest strength or weakness depending on the our power to overcome life’s obstacles.

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Mar 12
Lindsay B (Mar 12 2021 12:16PM) : Sink or Swim more

This thought process is commonly enforced by teachers and feared by students. Students who “sink” are viewed as failures and those who “swim” are seen as overachievers. It is battleground in a challenging class, not only with the material being taught, but also facing the opinions of others.

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Mar 13
Destiny B (Mar 13 2021 1:33PM) : Comparison more

The usage of ‘sink or swim’ is a powerful representation of what any class, or life in general, is like. If individuals to not come up to par with what is needed of them to succeed they will indeed ‘sink’.

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Mar 15
Austin D (Mar 15 2021 11:07AM) : Sink or Swim more

This definitely describes it similar to a battle or fight. You either give up and drown or you swim to shore by working hard to succeed within the class.

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Mar 10
Meredith V (Mar 10 2021 8:19AM) : Learning in the Dark more

I can not imagine how difficult learning would be when you can only understand half of what your teacher is saying. He is taking a big risk by coming into live in this new place without knowing much of the language that people speak.

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Mar 10
Carter S (Mar 10 2021 11:29AM) : Learning a new language more

I can somewhat relate to this. I remember when taking my three years of Spanish a lot of the time the teachers would only speak in Spanish, and I had no clue what was going on half the time.

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Mar 10
Emily M (Mar 10 2021 12:01PM) : Knowledge and Foreign Language more

Despite his prior education and experience Sedaris has still found himself in a new environment that he was not completely prepared for. This can be a common experience for people taking a foreign language course that they are not previously knowledgeable in. The teachers will often talk and expect a response from the students who are somewhat clueless as to what is being said or what the teacher wants them to do.

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Mar 11
Addyson D (Mar 11 2021 10:36PM) : Knowledge and Foreign Language more

I agree, especially in foreign languages classes that encourage you to only speak the newly learned language, as well as classes in which the teacher only uses said language. If the student is fairly new to the language, they may not understand what is being said. This leads to stress, and anxiety from the student who now does not understand the directions. This is not an effective method for learning a language, and is only effective for remembering one.

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Mar 10
Riley W (Mar 10 2021 1:35PM) : not completely in the dark more

I can relate to David struggle here when i first started Spanish I knew a few words and phases so i could guess as to what was happening

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Mar 11
Yahir V (Mar 11 2021 1:18PM) : Vis Versa more

I agree with Riley,
I did not do super good when I began learning English. It always sounded like gibberish and unintelligible garbage.

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Mar 12
Braxton S (Mar 12 2021 1:48PM) : "Me Talk Pretty One Day" more

Trying to learn some Spanish was really tough for me too.

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Mar 11
Trey S (Mar 11 2021 1:16PM) : personal connectio more

I can relate to this because of how my Spanish class mostly communicates in Spanish and sometimes I don’t know what they’re saying and feel lost.

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Mar 11
Emma P (Mar 11 2021 6:14PM) : Connection to the text more

I have a connection to this sentence of the excerpt because I have taken almost 4 years of Spanish class and there were definitely times where, in the beginning, I had no idea what was being said. Now that I have four years of experience I know understand some of the language, which will eventually happen for David Sedaris.

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Mar 12
Anna H (Mar 12 2021 11:58AM) : It would be very hard to begin a class that you thought you were somewhat prepared for only to realize that you really don’t understand much of what is being discussed.

“If you have not meimslsxp or lgpdmurct by this time, then you should not be in this room. Has everyone apzkiubjxow? Everyone? Good, we shall begin.” She spread out her lesson plan and sighed, saying, “All right, then, who knows the alphabet?”

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Mar 10
Emma P (Mar 10 2021 5:36PM) : Not knowing more

David Sedaris uses incomprehensible languages to describe him knowing some of the language being said but there are some words that are not being comprehended in his brain. He does this in his article to show the audience the misunderstanding he experienced in his new school. I can relate to this in my Spanish class; there are sometimes I understand some of what the teacher is saying but other times I don’t. I cannot imagine living in a whole new country without knowing the language fluently like David did.

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Mar 13
Destiny B (Mar 13 2021 7:37PM) : I can relate more

Sedaris’s usage of gibberish words within this text truly depicts what it feels like to listen to an individual speak in a language separate from your own. I remember feeling this way numerous times within my Spanish class too as you mentioned.

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Mar 12
Emme R (Mar 12 2021 6:24AM) : Tone more

The teacher speedily begins the class with a very careless tone. It shows a lack of empathy for the students, with could fit under the INTIMACY category as a lack thereof.

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Mar 10
Lucas D (Mar 10 2021 2:24PM) : Use of Unintelligible Language more

Here we find one of Sedaris’s first rhetorical choices, as he chooses to include the words of the teacher that had been unintelligible to him, and he signifies this with jumbled letters and italics. This choice helps to make this stand out as a piece of his tone, reiterating the idea that he is not so comfortable, and will face some struggles soon.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 4:10PM) : Nice pickup. It IS a choice here.
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Mar 12
Ryan S (Mar 12 2021 4:06PM) : Unintelligible more

The author uses jumbled letters to represent words he is unable to understand. This choice not only sets a more comedic tone, but it allows the readers to understand at least slightly how difficult it was for him being unable to completely understand. This is a scenario not everyone has undergone, so this choice allows us to better relate to the story he is portraying.

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Mar 15
Austin D (Mar 15 2021 4:11PM) : Confusion more

Daniel’s use of unintelligible language does give the reader the same scene and feeling as Daniel felt within the class.

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Mar 10
K B
(Mar 10 2021 7:28PM) : Keyboard Smash Gibberish more

The decision here to convey words that Sedaris didn’t understand as pure unfiltered gibberish reflects really well how lost hearing those foreign words must’ve felt.

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Mar 12
Lindsay B (Mar 12 2021 6:17PM) : Relation more

I relate directly to the author because I am take a French class. It can be quite confusing with the ways they articulate sentences and speak quickly.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 2:11PM) : Exasperation of the Teacher more

That sigh is a little detail that says a lot about the teaching experience for this particular educator in the essay.

The garbled language here seems pretty important to the preparation for this course which means that this paragraph is situated to present Sedaris in early peril.

It was startling because (a) I hadn’t been asked that question in a while and (b) I realized, while laughing, that I myself did not know the alphabet. They’re the same letters, but in France they’re pronounced differently. I know the shape of the alphabet but had no idea what it actually sounded like.

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Grant M (Mar 11 2021 8:32AM) : Speaker more

From the text I would think author is persistent and tough with all the abuse he puts up with, I also would think he is optimistic and is why the character sticks around after the teacher attempts to belittle her students.

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Dominic D (Mar 12 2021 7:34PM) : agree more

I agree with this completely. The author’s character really shines and shows how much persistence and toughness he has. It is amazing how optimistic he is even though he struggles with abuse.

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Meredith V (Mar 10 2021 8:22AM) : Learning a New Language [Edited] more

This comment stuck out to me. He is in the works of leaning how to speak french. Usually, the alphabet is the first thing you are taught when learning a language.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 10:10AM) : Nice pickup. Because he doesn't know ONE, he seems to think he has lost all sense of "alphabet."
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Mar 10
Jackie S (Mar 10 2021 1:37PM) : Hinting at the alphabet more

I’m not sure if this was intentional, but I find it amusing that he used a) and b) in this line. Sedaris has revealed that he doesn’t know the alphabet and then uses it in his response. If it was intentional it’s a pretty clever way of throwing it in there.

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Mar 11
Grant M (Mar 11 2021 8:15AM) : The alphabet more

I think this is suppose to lighten the mood a little because he says everyone else is laughing but he does not even know how to say each letter of the alphabet.

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Branden N (Mar 12 2021 12:35AM) : Alphabet more

I agree, in the real world some of the funniest events are funny because of confusion.

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Dominic D (Mar 12 2021 7:37PM) : agree more

I agree completely with this. It is a pretty serious topic so I feel as if a lighten of a mood is necessary.

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mia p (Mar 11 2021 10:31PM) : humor more

This is where the humor can be brought up. No it isn’t funny but we can see how the author is trying to lay light on the situation of him not knowing the alphabet.

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Hailey D (Mar 11 2021 1:22PM) : Connection more

I really like this line, because it goes hand-in-hand with the feeling in the last paragraph. Seeing the letters but having no idea what’s being said.

This also goes along with the idea of being in a foreign place. We are all human, a yet another place on earth can be the most unfamiliar.

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Dominic D (Mar 12 2021 7:43PM) : Agree more

I agree with this completely. It is crazy how you can know the shape of something but have no clue what it actually means.

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Mar 16
Devonny W (Mar 16 2021 12:45PM) : simplicty more

I find it ironic how Sedaris kind of just decided to jump into a whole new world the alphabet is the first thing u learn in school around age 6 he jokes with himself because it seem like it would be something basic he would need to know.

Ahh.” The teacher went to the board and sketched the letter a. “Do we have anyone in the room whose first name commences with an ahh?”

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:12AM) : Word Choice: "Commences" more

See how even an English word within the French course suggests a tone exhibited by the teacher?

Two Polish Annas raised their hands, and the teachers instructed them to present themselves by stating their names, nationalities, occupations, and a brief list of things they liked and disliked in this world. The first Anna hailed from an industrial town outside of Warsaw and had front teeth the size of tombstones. She worked as a seamstress, enjoyed quiet times with friends, and hated the mosquito.

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Lacey T (Mar 12 2021 5:24AM) : getting to know others more

We still say our name to the class and say things that describe us to get to better know each other. It’s smart to do especially in their situation where people are from different nationalities.

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Mar 12
Eli H (Mar 12 2021 3:10AM) : Nationalities more

It is a choice to label each person in the class by their name and nationality. It gives the true scope of how diverse the class is, and how, despite their different origins, face the similar struggle of learning a language. It’s not easy for anyone.

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Mar 13
Jordyn H (Mar 13 2021 2:46AM) : Nationalities more

I like the fact that the professor makes them say their nationality because it’s a part of who we are, but I also don’t like it because sometimes people tend to base their opinion on what nationality you are. It can go both ways.

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Mar 15
Austin D (Mar 15 2021 11:18PM) : Introductions more

I find it interesting that his teacher use a question that requires some critical thinking to introduce yourself.

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Mar 10
Lucas D (Mar 10 2021 9:28PM) : Hyperbole more

While Sedaris’s inclusion of this hyperbole, “front teeth the size of tombstones”, may not seem vital to the piece itself, it actually helps set the tone and establish a style for the rest of Sedaris’s piece. He includes the hyperbole because of the way it fits his style and aids the audience in maintaining attention throughout by employing such rhetorical choices.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 11:11PM) : Little details blown up big. Nice pickup.
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Mar 11
Carter S (Mar 11 2021 12:34AM) : Hyperbole more

Lucas you are right here. The author does a good job throughout the piece using rhetorical devices such as this one to keep the attention of the audience.

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Mar 14
Destiny B (Mar 14 2021 2:44AM) : Humorous tone more

This text is another instance of Sedaris having a humorous outlook on many situations. As seen here he makes a comparison with one of his fellow classmates having ‘tombstone’ sized teeth.

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“Oh, really,” the teacher said. “How very interesting. I thought that everyone loved the mosquito, but here, in front of all the world, you claim to detest him. How is it that we’ve been blessed with someone as unique and original as you? Tell us, please.”

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Mar 11
Colleen O (Mar 11 2021 10:05PM) : Rhetorical choice more

This line has a suggestion of sarcasm to it. Which could lean towards the fact that Sedaris is a humorist and could connect to the readers because everyone has atleast some form of sarcasm, or has heard sarcasm before.

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Mar 12
Emma G (Mar 12 2021 2:39AM) : Sarcasm more

I agree with Colleen. Throughout the text, Sedaris has seemed to uses sarcasm as a way to make the story light-hearted and at some points it can come across as comedic relief.

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Mar 13
Brianna B (Mar 13 2021 8:33AM) : First impressions more

This is one of the first true interactions the teacher is having with a student, and does not enter it gracefully. Instead, she is rather sarcastic and frank, making students nervous after her first impression with them.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 9:13PM) : The Teacher's Response more

Notice how Sedaris allows this scenario to play out without his own commentary. He merely reports the interaction and reaction to the moment.

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Mar 10
Lucas D (Mar 10 2021 8:33AM) : Teacher's Response (Rhetorical choice) more

Here Sedaris chooses to merely explain the interaction he observed, without commentary or bias. This is a rhetorical choice of Sedaris,allowing the audience and reader to come to their own belief and feelings about the teacher. Sedaris could have chosen to share his own views on the teacher, potentially describing how difficult it will be for him due to her personality and expectations. However, he does not do this, because he would have run the risk of losing audience members who may have felt that he sought out the pity and wanted the audience to feel bad for him. Instead, he simply notes the conversation, allows the reader to make their determination, ultimately resulting in many readers already being on the side of the students.

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Josiah F (Mar 11 2021 12:40AM) : I agree more

I also think it was important for him to put in a conversation rather than put his opinion in about the teacher. This gives the reader more interaction and keeps them interested in the article that they are reading.

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Mar 12
Addyson D (Mar 12 2021 11:43AM) : I agree more

Sedairs is fully aware of the conclusion readers will come to about the teacher, input or no input. The teacher’s sarcasm is blatantly obvious. The “Oh, really” and the “Tell us, please” really sell it. The teacher is unashamedly embarrassing her students, and it is obvious to the point that Sedaris can bring more comedic value to the piece without adding a word.

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Mar 15
Austin D (Mar 15 2021 11:27PM) : Demeaning [Edited] more

The teacher’s belittling of students is a interesting use of teaching. If I were to assume, I’d guess that she does it to assume authority and show who is in charge. She also does this to show that they have more to learn as well.

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The seamstress did not understand what was being said but knew that this was an occasion for shame. Her rabbity mouth huffed for breath, and she stared down at her lap as though the appropriate comeback were stitched somewhere alongside the zipper of her slacks.

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Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:14AM) : The Adjective (Rabbity) more

See how the right descriptive word is like what Mark Twain described as the difference “between lightning and a lightning bug?”

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Katie B (Mar 11 2021 7:18PM) : Rabbity more

This description is extremely unique and sort of funny in a sense. This unique description sets the tone for the remainder of the story

The second Anna learned from the first and claimed to love sunshine and detest lies. It sounded like a translation of one of those Playmate of the Month data sheets, the answers always written in the same loopy handwriting: “Turn-ons: Mom’s famous five-alarm chili! Turn offs: insecurity and guys who come on too strong!!!!”

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Jordyn H (Mar 12 2021 1:44PM) : Likes and Dislikes more

Just like on our first day of kindergarten, students are required to ‘tell a little about themselves’. No matter what age.

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Mar 10
Jackie S (Mar 10 2021 1:33PM) : Humor and Tone more

This line highlights the humor and sarcasm throughout the piece. These students have little knowledge of French so you can’t get a sense of the whole person. It adds humor to a moment when students are being ridiculed over things they like and dislike.

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Mar 10
Daniel M (Mar 10 2021 1:47PM) : Playdate of the month data sheets more

I found that David compared the simplicity of his classmates descriptions to something that children in early school might use to describe others. They obviously all have unique interests, but lack the nuance to describe or share them.

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The two Polish Annas surely had clear notions of what they loved and hated, but like the rest of us, they were limited in terms of vocabulary, and this made them appear less than sophisticated. The teacher forged on, and we learned that Carlos, the Argentine bandonion player, loved wine, music, and, in his words, “making sex with the womans of the world.” Next came a beautiful young Yugoslav who identified herself as an optimist, saying that she loved everything that life had to offer.

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Aron G (Mar 10 2021 2:02PM) : rhetorical choices more

Throughout the whole essay, Sedaris describes each student, that is present in the classroom, by where they are from. Some examples are “two Polish Annas”, “Argentine bandonion player”, and a “beautiful young Yugoslav”. Seradis most likely included these descriptors to grab the readers attention throughout the essay or it could be something of a bigger picture

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Braxton S (Mar 12 2021 1:53PM) : "Me Talk Pretty One Day" more

I agree, assigning everyone a adjective next to their country of origin added a comical tone to the story.

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K B
(Mar 10 2021 1:53PM) : Common Fear more

As someone who also wishes to learn multiple languages, this I feel is certainly a common fear among multi-linguists. Most people don’t want to feel stupid, but when you’re limited to only a small pool of words, you feel cheated. You know an entire language already. Even if you’re good at said language, you second-learnt will probably not be your strongest.

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Trey S (Mar 11 2021 1:36PM) : Relation more

The same thing happens to me in Spanish when I’m writing I know what I want to write but I don’t know the words for what I’m trying to write in Spanish

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Katie B (Mar 11 2021 7:22PM) : Polish Annas more

This is the second time that the author described the Anna’s as Polish instead of an image description of what they look like. This is interesting because it makes me wonder the intention the author is trying to convey. Repetition? is it intentional?

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Mar 12
Joseph L (Mar 12 2021 10:29AM) : Limited vocabulary more

I could relate to this part in the text because when I was in Spanish class I had many answers for the questions , but didn’t have the knowledge or vocabulary to answer the way I wanted to in Spanish.

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The teacher licked her lips, revealing a hint of the saucebox we would later come to know. She crouched low for her attack, placed her hands on the young woman’s desk, and leaned close, saying, “Oh yeah? And do you love your little war?”

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Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:15AM) : The Teacher So Far more

Seems to be poised for the “attack.” Watch Sedaris use these adjectives and image-driven descriptors to give us a “picture” of the teacher of the course.

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Mar 10
Kennedy F (Mar 10 2021 11:26AM) : Saucebox more

David Sedaris’s use of verbiage to describe the disrespectful way his Professor addresses her students is interesting. Throughout the story one can see that the professor insults them in French, but it appears that students, such as David Sedaris, have insults of their own for her, French or not.

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Brenna S (Mar 10 2021 1:23PM) : looking to attack more

The teacher does not seem to be actually interested in what her students have to say, and more of how she can find all the loopholes in their words and tear open to publicly ridicule them.
perhaps to weed out the weak links and leave only the ones who are cut out for the class.

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Jackie S (Mar 10 2021 1:55PM) : Agree more

I totally agree with you here. The teacher seems to take every moment she can to knock her students down. It seems odd that a teacher would want to get rid of students, but it might just be how she is. I wonder if her ridiculing had any effect on the students learning and understanding.

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Mar 12
R S
(Mar 12 2021 12:46PM) : Attack? more

I found it interesting that Sedaris chose to describe the teacher like she is a predator waiting to strike on unsuspecting students. This seems to be another choice made to allow readers to relate back to the text. Setting up the teacher as a villain against the students allows readers to relate via teachers they dislike, since most have had at least one teacher they do not exactly mesh with.

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Mar 11
Addyson D (Mar 11 2021 10:45PM) : Miscommunication more

The teacher is fully aware that the student did not mean to communicate her least favorite thing in the manner that she did. It simply came out incorrectly because the student did not have the vocabulary in the foreign language to say it correctly. Instead, the teacher used this slip up against the student; to ridicule and make fun of her.

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Mar 12
Lindsay B (Mar 12 2021 12:20PM) : Tone more

The tone of the French teacher is very apparent to be cruel and demanding.

While the optimist struggled to defend herself, I scrambled to think of an answer to what had obviously become a trick question. How often is one asked what he loves in this world? More to the point, how often is one asked and then publicly ridiculed for his answer? I recalled my mother, flushed with wine, pounding the table top one night, saying, “Love? I love a good steak cooked rare. I love my cat, and I love …” My sisters and I leaned forward, waiting to hear out names. “Tums,” our mother said. “I love Tums.”

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Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:16AM) : Sedaris's "Rehearsal." more

Sensing that his turn to speak is coming next, he begins to “rehearse” what he might say. This is a moment many students experience when the “take turns” approach is used (think “round robin.”

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Mar 10
Lucas D (Mar 10 2021 8:42AM) : Appeals to Ethos and Pathos more

Here Sedaris makes appeals to both ethos and pathos by revealing the questions that he asked himself, which due to this choice, also provokes the thoughts of the reader. In doing so, he appeals to pathos when asking, “How often is one asked what he loves in this world?” This elicits an emotional response from the audience as they themselves ponder such a deep question. He then appeals to ethos by asking about how often is one publicly ridiculed for his response to such a question. In doing so, the reader is again considering their feelings, not only on what they love, but also how wrong it would be to be publicly ridiculed for speaking how one feels. From this, Sedaris has appealed to both the ethos and pathos of the audience at the same time.

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Ella M (Mar 10 2021 11:38AM) : Ancedote more

Here we see the rhetorical choice of an anecdote come out. This little story adds background and humor.

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Mar 11
Ava R (Mar 11 2021 6:27PM) : Trick Question more

I think how David describes this part about trying to answer the question goes to show how much fear he felt at the time. I think that most students have gone through this experience David went through, trying to come up with an answer because they didn’t want to feel dumb or stupid for getting the question wrong.

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R S
(Mar 12 2021 12:48PM) : Hidden background info more

This maybe a quick remark to show a quick peak into Sedaris’ home life and how he grew up. Maybe a strenuous relationship with his mother? With the knowledge that this is part of a larger book I assume this may come up again later.

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The teacher killed some time accusing the Yugoslavian girl of masterminding a program of genocide, and I jotted frantic notes in the margins of my pad. While I can honestly say that I love leafing through medical textbooks devoted to severe dermatological conditions, the hobby is beyond the reach of my French vocabulary, and acting it out would only have invited controversy.

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Brianna B (Mar 12 2021 7:37PM) : "...jotted frantic notes in the margins of my pad" more

This is sentence is helping set the tone of article from the authors perspective. It is showing the sense of urgency and worry presented as he is jotting down notes, as an attempt to try and have a successful interaction with the teacher.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:18AM) : The Want to Say Something "Smart" more

Sedaris is limited in what he can share for he lacks the experience of the language. This reminds me of my daughter’s once writing that she liked to “bake cakes.” We don’t bake cakes often. When I asked her about her writing, she responded: “I couldn’t spell cookies.”

When called upon, I delivered an effortless list of things that I detest: blood sausage, intestinal pates, brain pudding. I’d learned these words the hard way. Having given it some thought, I then declared my love for IBM typewriters, the French word for bruise, and my electric floor waxer. It was a short list, but still I managed to mispronounce IBM and assign the wrong gender to both the floor waxer and the typewriter. The teacher’s reaction led me to believe that these mistakes were capital crimes in the country of France.

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Meredith V (Mar 10 2021 8:30AM) : Other Languages more

In most languages there is gender attached to objects. For people that speak English it is very easy to misgender the item in text, because we do not do this. But, making this mistake in France seemed like a crime when Sedaris did it.

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Aron G (Mar 11 2021 9:34AM) : Other Languages more

That is because, in other languages one word can mean a different thing if you simply use the wrong label in front of the word you think is right and then the sentence comes out totally different. It’s not just in France, but in many countries as well.

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Colleen O (Mar 11 2021 9:08AM) : connection more

As someone who was in a french class before, I connect with his errors. It’s confusing to learn a new language, especially when the language had feminine and masculine meanings for the same word

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Kinsey H (Mar 11 2021 10:13AM) : Connection more

I agree with this statement. As someone who is in french class currently, mistakes are made especially on the stuff that seems simple but really is not. When David talks about the wrong gender or the words and how he was getting them wrong I had a connection because a lot of french students make this mistake. it is very common when learning the French language.In the following sentence it says “The teacher’s reaction led me to believe that these mistakes were capital crimes in the country of France.” These are not crimes but having the slightest error to a word can change what you’re saying in a very drastic way.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:20AM) : The Shared Experience of the Author with His Fellow Students more

Giving his best effort, Sedaris itemizes the words and phrases he thinks he knows. This kind of listing is for comic effect. The disconnect between the items themselves is in service to the humor intended within the piece.

“Were you always this palicmkrexis?” she asked. “Even a fiuscrzsa ticiwelmun knows that a typewriter is feminine.”

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Reese G (Mar 11 2021 2:38AM) : The teacher more

On the first day of classes, the teacher keeps mixing in French words with English words. Part of this could be that she wants to intimidate the students to see who is going to stay in her class.

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Mar 11
K B
(Mar 11 2021 2:55AM) : Don't know it, but I feel it more

Though we can’t know exactly what Sedaris’s teacher says here, we can infer that it is not the friendliest comment towards him.

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Sydney S (Mar 13 2021 3:28AM) : Teacher's comment more

The teacher reacted very negatively and yelled at David. He is not sure what he said but he could tell by the surrounding words and tone she was angry.

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Mar 12
Yahir V (Mar 12 2021 2:12AM) : Understanding a foreign language more

Being that English is not my first language, I can understand their experience being called something but not understanding it. The teacher was quite rude insulting someone, but it hurts a little more when you do not know what it means and how it is used in the language.

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Hailey D (Mar 12 2021 2:34AM) : Tone of the mixed words more

Not only do these garbled words represent the lack of understanding, but I think they can also capture some of the anxiety in the moment. While David’s tone is very sarcastic, it’s very descriptive of the emotions felt.

What is being said? Is it good or bad? How do I respond to this?

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Katie L. B (Mar 12 2021 11:01PM) : What is being said? more

This is exactly what I thought when I read this part of the article. What could the teacher have been saying? It would be hard to defend yourself if you were insulted with words you did not know.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 9:21PM) : The Return of the Garbled Language [Edited] more

Our own experiences within the classroom might help us to fill in these blanks.

As a rhetorical strategy, this essay works quietly off of PATHOS. If you feel badly for these students and for Sedaris, the essayist has done his job and achieved his purpose.

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Lindsay B (Mar 13 2021 1:22AM) : Insult more

It is interesting that a person speaking another language could be directly offending you, but it could not possibly affect you if you do not understand exactly what they are saying.

I absorbed as much of her abuse as I could understand, thinking – but not saying

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– that I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object which is incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself. Why refer to Lady Crack Pipe or Good Sir Dishrag when these things could never live up to all that their sex implied?

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Gavin L (Mar 10 2021 9:01AM) : Humor more

Throughout the entire piece, Sedaris uses humor in his writing. This sentence is one of those examples, he takes a somewhat serious matter, and turns it into a joke that we can laugh about.

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Aron G (Mar 11 2021 8:51AM) : agree more

Without the humor that Serdais has provided, it would’ve been less intriguing to most readers causing them to abandon his essay.

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Braxton S (Mar 12 2021 1:29PM) : Humor more

Without the humor the poem would of been much more dull.

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Mar 11
Jordyn R (Mar 11 2021 1:28PM) : Personification more

David personifies the dishrag and the crack pipe here by referring to them as if they were actually people with sexes and clothes that could be taken off. This furthers his idea of applying gender to words in French to be ridiculous. He sees no sense in it, so he pokes fun at the idea itself.

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Brenna S (Mar 10 2021 1:33PM) : other languages more

Sedaris making fun of other languages(in this case, French) after being called out on making the mistake of assigning the wrong gender to an object that—among all the other objects in the French language, hold, I think is just his own embarrassment coming out through bashing the rules of the language that have been in place since forever.

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The teacher proceeded to belittle everyone from German Eva, who hated laziness, to Japanese Yukari, who loved paintbrushes and soap. Italian, Thai, Dutch, Korean, and Chinese – we all left class foolishly believing that the worst over. She’d shaken us up a little, but surely that was just an act designed to weed out the deadweight. We didn’t know it then, but the coming months would teach us what it was like to spend time in the presence of a wild animal, something completely unpredictable. Her temperament was not based on a series of good and bad days but, rather, good and bad moments. We soon learned to dodge chalk and protect our heads and stomachs whenever she approached us with a question. She hadn’t yet punched anyone, but it seemed wise to protect ourselves against the inevitable.

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Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:22AM) : The Time Jump more

Sedaris recourts more abuses and takes the reader over a longer period of time that does not get developed here.

The rhetorical choice of suggestive further abuses would be evident here.

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Mar 10
Meredith V (Mar 10 2021 8:34AM) : Preparation more

The students had tactics to try not and get attacked by their teacher. My question is was this all worth the class? And also why did they not drop the class?

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Mar 10
Gavin L (Mar 10 2021 8:56AM) : Preparation more

When I first read over this, I felt the same way, but after thinking about it I believe that the reason that they did not drop the class is because they thought that the teacher was doing this to them as a way of pushing them so that they would retain the information that she was giving them.

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Mar 11
Zachary Z (Mar 11 2021 1:09PM) : response more

I think they were scared of turning the teacher, she might of threatened them if they were to turn her in. Maybe she forced them to stay in her class.

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Mar 11
Ava R (Mar 11 2021 6:56PM) : Response to Meredith more
I think that the class was worth all the troubles that the students went through, because it made them a better student and to push themselves farther than they thought they could. I think that goes back to dropping the class because what are you going to get out of dropping a class, to maybe take an easier one? The “easier one” is not going to do anything for you in the long run of things.
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Mar 10
Flora C (Mar 10 2021 6:50PM) : David and his classmates more

Upon arriving early to class, David began to feel intimidated by his fellow classmates who were “young, attractive, and well-dressed.” Writing how “everyone spoke what sounded to me like excellent French.” However, when experiencing his class for the first time, David realized, him and his classmates had a lot in common. All of the student “left class foolishly believing that the worse was over.” Ever student was torn apart when telling the teachers their likes and dislikes.

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Mar 10
Emme R (Mar 10 2021 8:37AM) : Choice of Metaphor more

The author indirectly compares the class to weeds after their troublesome first class. The “deadweight” refers to the people who will not successfully learn from the class, and the teacher is making her tough outer shell visible from the beginning. The choice to employ metaphor here shows that this class is not for the weak-minded.

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Mar 10
Emme R (Mar 10 2021 8:39AM) : More Metaphor more

In the next line, the author compares the teacher to a wild animal, and describes how an experience with an animal with an aggressive temperament and one with a French teacher can be similar.

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Mar 11
Zachary Z (Mar 11 2021 1:12PM) : response more

The more we read about this book the more in dept they go into this teacher and how crazy she is. Like Emme said she was referred as a wild animal.

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Mar 11
Colleen O (Mar 11 2021 9:22AM) : Analogy more

To get a better clarification (perhaps an exaggeration) Sedaris uses an analogy to compare his professor to a wild animal. He states that “…something completely unpredictable.” Which leads the reader to a better understanding that her mood could change in an instant and each class was a different experience

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Mar 11
Emma G (Mar 11 2021 1:48PM) : Reply more

I agree with Colleen. I think that Sedaris uses the analogy to help the reader understand what is written in the text. This analogy also created imagery. This helps the reader picture what is being written.

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Mar 11
Trey S (Mar 11 2021 1:40PM) : unpredictable more

Having an unpredictable teacher in a class you don’t fully understand has to be extremely stressful especially if you are attacked for answering questions wrong.

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Mar 12
Jordyn H (Mar 12 2021 1:52PM) : Agreed more

Trey, I definitely agree. Going back to school, especially at 41 years old, is extremely scary and stressful. Teachers like that just don’t make it any better.

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Mar 11
Jordyn R (Mar 11 2021 1:32PM) : Seems to be a hyperbole..? more

I think when David says their teacher hadn’t punched anyone YET, implying that she might, might be a little extreme. I believe he is playing into the humorous joke that she is crazy and unpredictable; anything could happen when she’s around. I think the goal here was to emphasize her spontaneous behaviors.

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Mar 12
Kinsey H (Mar 12 2021 8:54AM) : Agreed more

I agree with this statement despite its uncertainty. This sentence show the reader more of the teachers personality to get more of a sense of the situation that David is presented with. The teacher seems to be very sporadic and very unpredictable.

Though we were forbidden to speak anything but French, the teacher would occasionally use us to practice any of her five fluent languages.

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Mar 10
Emily M (Mar 10 2021 12:24PM) : Language more

This is contradictory and somewhat hypocritical. The students are taking a French course which makes it reasonable that they only speak that language in the hopes of improving their abilities to speak it; however, this should not provide allowance for the teacher to speak other languages. Also it is the idea that she is not just speaking for the benefit of the students but almost as a sort of bragging about how well she can speak so it should be easy for the students too. She is supposed to be teaching them and encouraging their learning and improvement rather than constantly insulting them.

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Mar 11
Colleen O (Mar 11 2021 9:24AM) : response to Emily more

I agree with the fact that she is hypocritical to the students. She doesn’t let them speak anything that isn’t french, but its completely okay for her to practice her other language? I also agree with where you said it was bragging. She almost seems to be flaunting her ability to speak other languages while her students struggle to learn

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Mar 10
Isabel O (Mar 10 2021 1:33PM) : Unfair more

Although this tactic of only speaking the learned language could be good practice for the students, it is not right for the teacher to do something different. Sometimes, adults have the control, which means it is okay for them to do as they please. The teacher in the story draws the line multiple times. Her ways and tactics are rude, and even cruel to the students. Her tone is negative and brings a dark light to her character.

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Mar 11
Yahir V (Mar 11 2021 1:30PM) : Understanding a Language more

I completely agree with Isabel.
When learning a language you must be able to associate words. So using your native tongue when learning a new one, give commonalities between both languages. Use a syllable count, pronunciation, or even how it’s spelled.

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Mar 11
Zachary H (Mar 11 2021 1:32PM) : I agree more

I agree that her tone is negative and covers her character in a dark light. I find the hypocrisy in the fact that she can speak any language she wants but the students can only speak french to be really unfair especially when the teacher is a master at the language.

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“I hate you,” she said to me one afternoon. Her English was flawless. “I really, really hate you.” Call me sensitive, but I couldn’t help but take it personally.

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Mar 11
Lacey T (Mar 11 2021 4:28PM) : Realizing words hurt more

We often don’t realize that what we say can hurt others. Here is a prime example of this the girl says he hates the boy. Not knowing if she was joking by the tone of her voice, he took it personally.

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Mar 12
Jordyn H (Mar 12 2021 1:50PM) : Great interpretation more

I love how you pulled this from what she said. You’re absolutely right, Lacey. We often don’t realize that what we say can hurt people. I think that says a lot about you as a person.

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Mar 12
Anna H (Mar 12 2021 11:59AM) : I appreciate the author’s sarcasm in his description of his instructor.
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Mar 11
mia p (Mar 11 2021 10:33PM) : hatred more

The teacher is using verbal abuse towards the student. This can explain most of the tone throughout the text so far.

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After being singled out as a lazy kfdtinvfm, I took to spending four hours a night on my homework, putting in even more time whenever we were assigned an essay. I suppose I could have gotten by with less, but I was determined to create some sort of identity for myself: David, the hardworker, David the cut-up. We’d have one of those “complete this sentence” exercises, and I’d fool with the thing for hours, invariably settling on something like, “A quick run around the lake? I’d love to! Just give me a moment while I strap on my wooden leg.” The teacher, through word and action, conveyed the message that if this was my idea of an identity, she wanted nothing to do with it.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:24AM) : Attempts to Please the Teacher more

Another Rhetorical Choice employed by Sedaris witin this essay is called a “vignette.” This work literally means like a small scene or something that might be seen through a window. Here the reader sees Sedaris wanting to recreate himself in the eyes of an instructor who “hates him.”

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Mar 11
Eli H (Mar 11 2021 1:34PM) : Choice: Paragraphs 23-24 more

Paragraph 23 flows very smoothly into paragraph 24, tying the teacher’s belligerence to the author’s attempts to please her. It works as a contrast and as an appeal to pathos, as the reader appreciates his work and does not appreciate for whom he does it.

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Mar 10
Gavin L (Mar 10 2021 8:13AM) : Working Hard more

This sentence from the text just shows how hard Sedaris is working so that he could better his understanding of the French language. He then goes on to say that he wanted to make an identity for himself. Sedaris wanted to be a standout student that worked hard every day to better himself in the field that he is studying.

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Mar 10
Josiah F (Mar 10 2021 11:43AM) : Dedication more

Sedaris is showing that he will put in the work to achieve his goal.He is willing to work hard just like you said. His dedication an hard work will move him closer to becoming a stand out student and learn a new language.

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Mar 11
Aron G (Mar 11 2021 9:30AM) : (S)peaker more

Not only is David Sedaris a comedian,American humorist,author, and radio contributor, but he also dedicated,intelligent,humorous, and persistent.

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Mar 10
Flora C (Mar 10 2021 8:59AM) : Purpose more

David desires to be knows as something more than a “lazy kfdtinvfm.” He wants a new identity as the “hardworker” or the “cut-up.” His determination and passion for the french language drove him to dive into his studies, even when he felt as if his french was not improving, he carried on. His work payed off in the end when David was able to understand his teacher, even though she were insulting him. “It’s a small step, nothing more, yet its rewards are intoxicating and deceptive.” David Sedaris is showing us the rewards for not giving into defeat. How learning a language was challenging, but rewarding. David conveys to readers to believe hard work pays off.

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Mar 10
Ethan N (Mar 10 2021 11:42AM) : Great Theme Pickup more

Flora, the theme you have presented of “hard work pays of” was not one that I would have immediately pickup up one from this excerpt, but now that I have read your thoughts, I see that your theme is more prevalent throughout the excerpt than any of the ones I picked out.

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Mar 11
Zachary Z (Mar 11 2021 1:17PM) : doing better more

In this paragraph this kid is trying to suck up for the teacher so he can be on her good side. I feel like everyone has done this before. He wants to be known as the hard worker.

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Mar 11
Zachary H (Mar 11 2021 1:36PM) : Purpose more

David wants to be known as more than “lazy kfdtinvfm.” he wants to be acknowledged as a hard worker. Through his passion for the french language drove him to continue to get better even when he felt that he wasn’t. David Sedaris shows the reader the rewards for not giving in to defeat, which is what I believe the purpose of this essay is.

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Mar 14
Emily W (Mar 14 2021 12:48PM) : Commitment more

When David says, “I suppose I could have gotten by with less, but I was determined to create some sort of identity for myself” it really shows his character. He is willing to work very hard to show himself and his teacher that he is competent and able.

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Mar 11
Eli H (Mar 11 2021 1:21PM) : Exemplification more

One of the rhetorical modes is exemplification and here the author provides an example of his overthinking and dedication to strengthen the audience’s perception of him being a hard worker, dedicated to learning.

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Mar 12
Brianna B (Mar 12 2021 7:40PM) : Discouraged more

The teacher is being rather hateful and rude to Sedaris when he presents his sentence exercise. She is further setting up for him to be discouraged in learning in her class.

My fear and discomfort crept beyond the borders of the classroom and accompanied me out onto the wide boulevards. Stopping for a coffee, asking directions, depositing money in my bank account: these things were out of the question, as they involved having to speak. Before beginning school, there’d been no shutting me up, but now I was convinced that everything I said was wrong. When the phone rang, I ignored it. If someone asked me a question, I pretended to be deaf. I knew my fear was getting the best of me when I started wondering why they don’t sell cuts of meat in vending machines.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:26AM) : Outside of the Classroom (Vignette) more

The effect of the inner working of the classroom is now affecting Sedarish outside-the-classroom interactions. This is an important consideration of the essay and may be a good reason for its inclusion within an EDUCATION text set for the course (textbook).

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Mar 12
Anna H (Mar 12 2021 12:00PM) : Even though the author is using humor and sarcasm, it is clear that he is describing how he was actually experiencing self doubt.
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Mar 12
Sydney S (Mar 12 2021 2:32PM) : Inside the classroom vs outside the classroom more

David expresses that he is becoming very comfortable in the classroom and is always talking, but when he is in public he is nervous to have simple conversations. I think a lot of this comes from trying to prove to his teacher that he can do it. However, David also needs to apply what he’s learning outside the classroom as well.

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Mar 10
Ella M (Mar 10 2021 11:46AM) : Pathos and Sympathy more

Most of us can relate to this, we start to fail in one subject, maybe one we were particularly good at, and start to doubt ourselves in others. Sedaris is living in Paris and from his earlier anecdotes, it is apparent he knows at least basic French. Therefore, his doubt does not spring from a failure in the area he mentions, like asking for directions, but from a different, but related, sphere of his life.

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Mar 11
mia p (Mar 11 2021 10:34PM) : fear/appeals more

Pathos is brought into this as we feel bad for the students. They ave begun to fear everything outside of the classroom.David feels as if everything he does is wrong now.

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Mar 10
Ethan N (Mar 10 2021 11:36AM) : Confidence (or lack thereof) more

At this point, Sedaris shows how one person can make someone else doubt themselves. This is a part of life that most, if not all, people can relate to. As an appeal to Pathos, this works very well, as Sedaris pulls at the readers emotions, causing the reader to fell bad for him, while also getting a negative reaction towards the teacher.

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Mar 10
Brenna S (Mar 10 2021 1:45PM) : self-doubt more

Sedaris, through the near-constant torment hes been enduring through his French instructor, has appeared to have almost developed a fear—or at least a heavy dislike of talking, whether it be in English or not. And obviously, the teacher is to blame, and while slightly unrelated, I think that her method of teaching, although certainly following through on the ‘tough love’ model, is still going about it horribly wrong.
In short! she’d doing more harm than good; Sedaris is learning French, but at the cost of his confidence and almost ability to function.

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Mar 11
Zachary H (Mar 11 2021 2:30PM) : Pathos more

Sedaris Shows how one can make one doubt themselves which is an instance where everyone can relate. Since people can relate this is an appeal to Pathos and a good one at that since it really can pull at the reader’s emotions.

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Mar 10
Emily M (Mar 10 2021 12:28PM) : Effect of experience more

Before this class Sedaris was somewhat confident in his abilities in communicating in French but after the class he no longer believed what he was saying was correct. This resulted in him not socializing with people, even outside of class for the fear that he would say something wrong.

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Mar 10
Isabel O (Mar 10 2021 1:20PM) : Effect of Experience more

Sedaris had a confident mindset coming into class, though after class he could no longer believe in himself. This experience brought him down, in a way he did not feel before. Sedaris did not want to say the wrong thing.

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Mar 11
Zachary Z (Mar 11 2021 1:24PM) : Confident more

Walking in he was very confident but after class he shut down he had no confidence. He was afraid of saying the wrong thing which no kid should have to worry about.

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Mar 11
Ava R (Mar 11 2021 7:05PM) : Response to Zachary more

I picked up on this too, how he was so confident at the beginning of school but as the day went on he became to feel defected. When he started to feel like everything he said was wrong he started to worry about saying the wrong things. It goes to show you that this happens to a lot of students and most don’t speak up and say they need help, they just sit back.

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Mar 10
Jayden R (Mar 10 2021 12:14PM) : BY his lonesome more

Imagine how difficult it would have been to move somewhere and be scared to respond to people. I feel like it would have been excruciating. Just more Pathos added to the pile.

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Mar 12
Kinsey H (Mar 12 2021 7:59AM) : Agreed more

I agree with this statement. This sentence is a good example of pathos seeing as he pretended to be deaf when he couldn’t understand anything that was being said to him. This must have been an excruciating experience to go through.

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Mar 10
Addyson D (Mar 10 2021 2:08PM) : Appeal to Pathos more

This appeals to the readers emotion by referencing how afraid he is to talk to others. This resonates with many people with social anxiety, or just generally shy. And those who aren’t like this would feel pity.

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Mar 11
Katie B (Mar 11 2021 7:25PM) : Fear more

The idea of avoiding common social interactions due to fear is something I imagine as extremely horrifying. Going around pretending to have disabilities is on a different level of fear, in this case it’s severe. This is an appeal to pathos because it is drawing in a connection between him and the audience.

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Mar 11
Zachary Z (Mar 11 2021 1:26PM) : Pathos more

He is showing emotion talking about his fears and acting like he does not hear people so he does not have to answer any questions.

My only comfort was the knowledge that I was not alone. Huddled in the hallways and making the most of our pathetic French, my fellow students and I engaged in the sort of conversation commonly overhead in refugee camps.

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Mar 10
Paul H (Mar 10 2021 8:26AM) : Imagery/Comparison