The Slippery Slope of Spain
I know, I know. I said I was only going to be posting on Thursdays and Sundays…but sometimes something amazing comes along that needs immediate publication. My student’s in-class essay is one of those things.
Adventures in Konglish Essay Spotlight:
Over the last couple months that I have been in Korea, I have been reporting on adventures I’ve taken, bizarre cultural phenomena, and absurd Korean-English (Konglish) mistranslations. As I’ve been teaching, I’ve had the gift of seeing/reading a number of hilarious statements that, I’m sure, sounded correct in someone’s mind. First off, I’d like to say that I have a supreme respect for anyone who is learning a new language; It is insanely difficult. That being said, those first few steps into a language can be brutally funny for both sides. The following on-demand essay was written by one of my students on a prompt that read, “Spanish bullfighting has been a very important part of Spanish culture for many years. One part of Spain (Catalan) voted and decided that they would no longer allow bullfighting in that part of the country due to the violence that the sport shows. Do you think Spanish bullfighting should be allowed or banned?” Now, I know some of you are saying, the larger part of the vote was that Catalan wanted to seperate themselves from the main Spanish culture and further solidify their own identity. However, these are elementary kids, let’s stick to the violence. Here is, presented in its full glory, the on-demand writing (the typed version follows the pictures):
“‘Grrrrrr…’ Do you know what that sound is? This is a bull’s scream when they fight with people. A bull has two firm horns which can kill people. Many people might die when they crash with a bull’s two horns. I think Spanish people bullfighting should be banned. There are three reasons:
First, the population in Spain might decrease when many brave people challenge ‘Spanish bulls.’ When people fight with bulls they might die. When there are many people who are dead, Spain’s economy might deteriorate. The reason for this is that there might not be many people who can cooperate together and develop their country. For example, let’s say 14,952 people challenged ‘Spanish bulls.’ And also, let’s say that only 20 people survived and everyone else had died. Then, 14,932 people would be dead, so they wouldn’t be able to cooperate with other people, so Spain’s economy would deteriorate. Therefore, I think that Spanish bullfighting should be banned.
Second, Spain’s bull population might decrease too. When bulls fight with people and people win, then the bulls die, then Spain’s bull population would decrease. If the bull population decreases, predators, such as lions, would decrease in population as well. This might be the cause of an entirely destroyed ecosystem. For example, let’s say that there were 100 bulls which fought with people. Also, let’s say only 30 bulls beat the people and all the others died. The bull’s population would decrease. Then, the bull’s food, like grass, would increase, but the bull’s predators, such as lions or pumas would decrease. This could also destroy the ecosystem, and also bulls and their predators might become extinct in Spain. Therefore, I think Spanish bullfighting should be banned.
Finally, people, including children in Spain, might become violent when Spanish bullfighting is allowed. People might decide to challenge, or they would like to watch the fighting. This can promote people being violent and aggressive. When people become aggressive, children in schools might fight each other. Fore instance, let’s say there are 10,000 people watching a bullfight, and of those there are 5,000 students. Some people might decide to challenge Spanish bullfighting, and also the students’ hobby might become watching bullfights. Then, students might become very aggressive, and this could make them swear and fight. Therefore, I think Spanish bullfighting should be banned.
Thus, when Spanish bullfighting is allowed in Spain, the population might decrease making the economy deteriorate, the bull’s population might decrease causing Spain’s ecosystem to be destroyed, and people might become aggressive. For these reasons, I strongly state that Spanish bullfighting should be banned.”
Now, I’m not really even sure where to start discussing this essay, there are so many great points to talk about. So, I will narrow it down to my top three:
1) Killer Bulls: The statistic given was that 20 people survive out of the 14,952 people, the rest succumb to the fatal injuries caused by bullfights in Spain. What kind of chemically-altered, mutant bulls do they have in Spain? I certainly don’t remember seeing any, but perhaps I should go back and do a more thorough search…fully equipped to make it into that group of 20 survivors. Also, aside from the Amazing-19 and myself (who face any and all great dangers posed by the world with bravado), who are these other 14,932 desperado vigilantes who believe they can go “mano-a-vaco-giganticus?”
2) A Very Specific Death Rate or a Coincidence?: 14,952…I’m not sure where this number comes from, but it sounds entirely knowledgable and accurate. That’s a 0.1337% survival rate. Ya, that’s right nerds, you read that right. Going up against a “Mega-bull” in Spain has a .1337% survival rate, in other words, a “leet” or “elite” survival rate. Do the math (20/14,952=.001337)! I asked the student, he said he had no idea what that meant, which can only mean I was destined to discover the amazing hilarity of this essay.
3) The Spanish Ecosystem: If the “Mega-bulls” do get defeated by myself and the Amazing-19, then the entire ecosystem in Spain will deteriorate. First, the grass will grow extremely high and then the lions and pumas of Spain will slowly die out without their food source. I can only assume that the Spanish lions and pumas live somewhere in the La Rioja region and stalk the wine vineyards for tourists when they are not hunting “Mega-bulls.”
Bonus Round: Yes, the top of his paper DOES say “NBA jam,” and yes I WILL be giving him extra points for that.
A Teacher Who Respects His Student’s Inside Knowledge of Spain…Who Also Has a Blog,