The principal

Just a little update for those wondering about yesterday’s close encounters of the fourth plate kind. (heh heh) (Look at me being all cultural referencey. I haven’t even seen that movie.)

Today the principal strolled into my office, plopped into my unfortunate coworker’s chair (she grabbed her laptop and went to work in the corner), and said he didn’t think I understood his pronunciation yesterday.

I assured him that I did.

He asked me if “It seemed you didn’t understand my pronunciation” was correct grammar.

Then we had one of our confusing half-conversation, half-English-lesson episodes, where I’m never quite sure whether I’m supposed to respond to his statements conversationally or with the grammatically correct repetition of his sentence.

The head teacher brought us both coffee.

I watched the coffee slosh treacherously around the rim of his cup as he gestured with the cup-holding-hand, hoping he would not spill hot coffee on himself and make it awkward for everyone, but also feeling a little morbidly fascinated by the imminent disaster.

He kept standing up to go, then sitting back down as he remembered one more thing he wanted to ask me. Up down, up down.

It was a little comical and a little endearing.

He left the office and was back again 2 minutes later.

Him: “Maddy. ‘I’m cold in here’ and ‘It’s cold in here.’ Which is correct?”

Me: “Just ‘I’m cold,’ or ‘It’s cold in here.'”

Him: “Ah, on the airplane, I told the staff ‘I’m cold in here.’ That is wrong?”

Me: “Just a little unnatural.”

Him: “I will say the full sentence. ‘It’s cold in here.’ Is that correct?”

Me: “Yes, right.”

He left. 5 minutes later, he returned.

“Maddy, I’m sad that you will go. I’ll miss you next year,” he said. And before I could really respond, he added his usual phrase – “Is that the correct expression?”

Such is my relationship with the principal.

He is a nice person, and I’ll miss him too.


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