Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where did that come from?

(Background: Each week, a small group of wonderful kids from a nearby New Delhi slum colony enriches my life in an English class that I teach. They work harder than I did at their ages and live in horrifically unhealthful and unsafe circumstances. None lives in a home larger than 8' x 8' (plastic or tin sheet roofs), and none has electricity or water. Most girls in this 30,000 person colony spend an average of about 45-60 minutes walking to bring water home to their families. Few have fathers, and there is NO police protection available inside the colony.)

So anyway, on Saturday, I'm explaining (again) the need to use the proper tense of verbs, and drilling them on the past, present, and future tenses of several regular and irregular verbs. In my clarification of some minor point, I used the word "professional". Rinki, a particularly quiet, attentive, and diligent girl surprised me by pumping her hand in the air with a soft but urgent, "Sir, sir!" I called on her, and she asked, "By professional, do you mean like 'The Rock'?"


1. A person following a profession, especially a learned profession.
2. One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation: hired a professional to decorate the house.
3. A skilled practitioner; an expert.
"professional." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 13 Nov. 2005.