Since people say they like my teaching story, here is a very disturbing one from today. I asked the students to read and analyze the following short passage from Sarmiento’s Facundo (if you don’t know what the text is about, that doesn’t matter because the passage is very clear and self-explanatory. Or so I thought):
So after we read this passage both at home and in class, I asked the students to tell me what tasks men and women performed in the society described here.
“Women stayed home and men worked!” students happily announced.
“Please, read the passage carefully,” I asked. “According to this text, what did men do?”
“They worked hard to feed their families!” was the unanimous response.
“Which words exactly make you think that?” I asked, growing desperate.
“It says right here that they exercised physical strength.”
“To do what?”
“To take care of their families and provide food for them. ‘All the burden of work’ is what they did. It says so right here. And women had to be thankful because men worked so hard to feed them,” the students insisted.
In case you are wondering, we read the text in English and the students are all English-speakers.