In an effort to educate my young mentee, I taught him to speak in a primitive code. Now I hear he’s abused his knowledge. Accordingly, mentoring’s been canceled today.
At the end of last week’s session, Ernie had prattled how he couldn’t wait to tell his friends about our new game, “Rockem Sockem Teachers.” I’d urged caution, advising: “Don’t let your teacher hear you! In fact, why don’t you start speaking Pig Latin so she doesn’t understand your words?”
To my surprise, Ernie had no idea what I meant. He’d never heard of Pig Latin! I explained its rudiments to him: “It’s easy. All you do is move the first part of every word to the back and add ‘ay’ to it. For example, ‘Rockem Sockem Teachers’ becomes ‘ockemray ockemsay eacherstay.’”
Ernie practiced all the way back to his classroom. In the ensuing week, it would appear that he’s grown fairly proficient in the tongue.
Turns out, Ernie’s teacher already knows about Pig Latin, and how to speak it. She made that clear when I attempted to retrieve Ernie from his classroom today. Apologizing for my wasted trip, she informed me there’ll be no mentoring for the boy this week. As she explained, he has to be disciplined for the coded language he’d imparted to her this morning. She added: “You know, I didn’t think the kids in his generation had even heard of Pig Latin.”
Feeling a tad guilty, I responded: “Far be it from me to question your disciplinary methods, but doesn’t it seem harsh to cancel mentoring simply because Ernie spoke Pig Latin to you?”
“Oh, he’s not getting punished because he spoke Pig Latin. He’s in trouble because of what he used it to say, when I chastised him for interrupting another student.” Leaning closer, she then whispered the offending words in my ear.
I had to admit the punishment did not exceed the crime. Best of all, I no longer felt guilty about my role in the events. I may’ve taught Ernie to speak Pig Latin, but he didn’t learn “uckfay ouyay” from me.