Hi everybody,

I  can only assume that some of you got this mail (attached below) from a mutual friend of ours.

Since he correctly BCCed everybody, I don't know who got it but I thought I should say something.

If I were to translate these absentee notes into Hebrew, replace all the P's with B's and change the kids names to Razi, Layla, Amir and the likes all of you would be well aware of what it is and probably most of you would not pass it on.

I can't blame our friend. I am not a PC purist and have often made the same mistake

But I have to admit that I can't stand when Israelis use the different inflections of fuck as though it was "just another word". I am sure Russian expats have the same feeling about my use of kebinimat and I once got a very glaring face from Dutch volunteers when I stubbed my toe and shouted "Got for Dome"(sp.) (god is damned)

But I digress

It is quite obvious to me that all the "real" notes are written by black South Africans whose mother tongue is "at best" a pidgin English but probably another local language.

I am sure it was the intention of a pure hearted whitie to bring to our attention the possibilities found in parents notes.

As my grandparents used to say when it was still popular "it was the white thing to do" not being Jewish they would also say that it "was very Christian of him…"

When I worked in "Borders" in the "Bible Belt" one of my co-workers said that she had relatives who were so backwards they still use the "N" word.

I think our responsibilities as teachers of the English language should also be to bring the positive sides of Anglo culture to our pupils. The 1960's give us plenty of material politically and I've got a compendium of Douglas Adams' work that can keep me busy with British humor, cynicism and social responsibility for just as long as I wish…

Which brings me to an article I am planning to work on with my 9th graders which I will attach for everybody.

The article has readers comments which I chose and edited.

I am planning on asking the kids to develop one of the ideas represented in the comments and to argue it to the class.

new huckfin2.pdf

Netanel (Nati) Hanadari

merlin and arthur






pass it on. don't let them fool you

These are absentee notes from parents

> (including original spelling) collected by schools all over South Africa

1. My son is under a doctor's care and

> should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

2. Please excuse Promise for being absent.

> She was sick and I had her shot.

3. Dear School : Please ekscuse Sipho

> being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.

4. Please excuse Glorious from Jim today.

> She is administrating.

5. Please excuse Blessing from P.E. for

> a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

6. Edwed has been absent because he had

> two teeth taken out of his face..

7. Moses was absent yesterday because

> he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

8. Millicentia could not come to school

> today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

9. Philemon will not be in school cus

> he has an acre in his side

10. Please excuse Justice Friday from

> school. He has very loose vowels.

11. Please excuse Khanyile from being

> absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the shits.

12. Please excuse Thomaas for being

> absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

13. Petros was absent yesterday because

> he missed his bust.

14. Please excuse Reginald for being.

> It was his father's fault.

15. I kept Beauty home because she was

> to go Christmas shopping because I don't know what size she wear.


16. Please ekxcuse Wiseman for missing

> school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off verunda, and

> when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

17. Sihle won't be in school a week

> from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

18. My daughter was absent yesterday

> because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

19. Please excuse Johnwood for being

> absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

20.Please excuse Good Fortune for being

> absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she

> was having a gangover.

22. Please excuse Bhoniswa , she has

> been sick and under the doctor.

23. Winnie was absent December 11-16,

> because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her

> sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low

> grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever.

> There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

24. Please excuse my little Mavundla

> for not being in school yesterday. His father is gone and I could not

> get him ready because I was in bed with the doctor.

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