Since moving to Baton Rouge, I've had to learn a new language. Okay, not a new language, exactly, but dialect for sure. Most of the time, I don't notice much of an accent, at least not in the city. When we watch the news, though, I'm always questioning where they find their interview subjects because they all sound like their straight out of The Waterboy.
In my classroom, my accent (which I swear I don't have) is often the object of mockery. My students say my speech is too proper. What they're really saying, though, is that I enunciate my words... and I can hear my mom laughing at this as I type because she always told me I was a lazy speaker. But trust me on this one... my students are the laziest speakers of all. Honestly, to the point that I sometimes cannot understand them and make them try their sentences again.
In addition to their accents and lazy speech patterns, there are some terms I've had to learn this year as well. Here are just a few examples:
Baton Rouge Term Chicago Translation
Cold Drink Pop
Washroom Laundry Room
We've had many laughs over these and similar words this year. I really confused my students one day when I told them I needed to use the washroom. They thought I had to go home to wash my clothes and kept asking, "Why?" I couldn't understand why it was necessary to explain my need to use the bathroom. Thankfully, my co-teacher was there to translate for us!
One of my absolute favorite things I've heard from a student this year happened a few weeks ago while I was tutoring some students during a pull-out. A group of boys were playing in the hallway and started knocking on my door, wanting to come in and hang out. We were in the middle of writing essays and couldn't afford the distraction, so I asked one of the girls to go to the door and tell the boys to go back to their classes. After she told them what I said, the boys were upset and began banging on the door and walls, getting louder and more disruptive. Thankfully, one of our disciplinarians came to escort the boys back to class, and my student returned to the group, exasperated.
"These triflin' chil'ren acting like they ain't had no home-training!" she exclaimed.
I literally had tears from laughing so hard.
Best. Quote. Ever!