Teacher of the Year

Juan LePuen

Published at Smashwords by Fario

Copyright 2011 by Fario

Professor John Newhouse paused in mid-sentence and took a quick look at his watch. The hour was up. John—he tried to make his students call him by his first name—remembered his days as a student well enough so that he couldn’t help marveling at how much shorter an hour seemed when instead of sitting at a desk listening to a boring teacher go on and on he himself was standing up and, it must be said, going on and on. Time is indeed relative, he reflected.

So much so, he thought, that he might as well finish what he was saying and pose one last vocabulary question. His passion for first-year Spanish was, after all, contagious.

What does engañarse mean?”

Nobody said anything.

Look at the context. Jenny?”

To trick? To deceive?” answered a brown-haired girl in the front row.

Good. You just about got it.” A young instructor (despite the honorific frequently bestowed upon him, he was not actually a holder of a Ph.D.), Professor John Newhouse was of the school that advocates encouraging one’s students. “But be sure to remember one thing. What do you see on the end of that infinitive?... Right. Excellent. A pronoun. What kind of pronoun? Indeed it is a reflexive pronoun. What are the other reflexive pronouns?... No, those are the object pronouns. Remember, the reflexive pronouns are me, te, se, nos, os, and se. Same as the object pronouns except in the third-person singular and plural—that is, the se is different. What then is the function of the reflexive pronoun? It shows that the subject—the actor—and the object—the recipient of the action—are one and the same. So now the precise meaning of engañarse should be clear to those of you who have followed my explanation. Have a good weekend.”

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