(Ken’ichi, age 8, walks past me as he is leaving his other class.)
ME: Hey! Ken’ichi! Did you actually do your homework this week?
KEN’ICHI: (smirks silently)
ME: Mr. Ken’ichi Whinyface III! Homework! Did you do it this time!?
KEN’ICHI: (in Japanese) I don’t speak Ennngliiiish!
ME: Homework! You know the word homework! I said it to you like thirty times last week!
KEN’ICHI: (hides behind a partition, still smirking)
ME: Dude, I can still see you! Homework! Yes, no, maybe?
ME: Why!? Why don’t you ever do your homework!? You have to copy one sentence, it’s not hard! Go home and do your homework, right now!
KEN’ICHI: I don’t know!
ME: Homework! Homework! Homework!
KEN’ICHI: (runs outside and smirks at me through the window)
ME: Homework! (Ken’ichi’s mom comes up beside me, looking confused. I point at him.) Homework!
KEN’ICHI’S MOM: (in Japanese) Oh! Yes! Ken’ichi, you have to do your homework!
(Ken’ichi’s Mom is clearly not actually going to make Ken’ichi do his homework.)
ME: Ken’ichi, I will hang you out the window by your toes if you don’t do your homework this time.
(Ken’ichi apparently apprehends the deeper meaning of my words, and backs away from the window to hide.)
(I have been instructed to communicate with my students and their parents in exactly this manner. Like, one-word sentences and yelling. I’ve got faxes on official company letterhead telling me to all yell a bunch of one-word sentences. It’s gotten to be kind of automatic.)