My Friday morning ladies’ class is fairly advanced.  We can have conversations about a lot of different things.  So as a challenge, we are reading books in the class.  After we finish the book, we watch the movie version.  The first one we did was Amistad last semester.  Yes, I know, Amistad was a movie first.  The book we read was adapted from the screenplay, which I normally hate, but these are Penguin Readers for Beginners, so what do you expect?  Besides, it’s a great movie, and an interesting story in American history.  Anyway, this semester we are reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  Most of you probably read it in school, so you probably remember that it has some language in it.  The Penguin Reader for Beginners, however, only contains one swear word.  Not that I was worried – these are women who would hardly go around swearing, so an English curse would mean nothing to them.   Yes, well.

So here we were on chapter 3 and the word pops up: “‘Curley’s a bastard,’ George said.”  The students read it and it passed without comment, just as I expected.  But then we got to the questions.  I asked the class, “What’s Curley like?”  I expected them to quote the sentence, “a thin angry young man with brown eyes.”  But no.  They proudly said, “Curley’s a bastard!”  Consequently, we had our first lesson on what not to say to people 🙂

As a side note, they asked me how to spell “ghostbuster” so they could look it up.  I quickly realized they thought “buster” sounded very similar to that other word.  I had to explain it was ghost buster.

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