Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Questions, questions

This morning my students had their first brief taste of devising questionnaires for report writing. Each small group was asked to think of just two interesting questions they could put to the members of the group next door. They would then analyse and interpret the information gathered, and decide whether or not it was worth anything. (And if not, why had they asked such damn fool questions - but this was for later.) The 'interesting' stipulation baffled them for a few minutes, and table tops were contemplated in silence as my heart sank - they're going to stone-wall it, I thought. Anyway, after a while a buzz got going and they came up with questions such as:

Do you ever go sleep-walking?

I liked the way it made sleep-walking sound like some fashionable new pass-time. Then there was:

If you wake in the morning and find you are gender switch, what will you do?*

Then this rather baffling one:

Do you ever go in  a heterosexual toilet?

So, maybe straights are getting into cottaging? 'But I was sleepwalking, officer!' No. It was, of course, misuse of a Chinese-English dictionary: they'd keyed in 'opposite sex' in Chinese and that is what it had come up with. By further changing the Simple Present ('Do you ever?') to the Present Perfect ('Have you ever been?') we made the meaning clearer and also made what I had originally thought a potentially quite fascinating question into something utterly banal. Sorry.

Me, I stick with the homosexual toilets, and here's a thing: Chinese boys at the urinal will not merely open their zips, but unbuckle and folollop their entire three-piece suite over the waist band of their Calvins, openly appraising their neighbour's tackle. I offer this as raw data for you to interpret, as I don't have to write a bloody report.

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* Three respondents (out of 19) said 'commit suicide'.
 

4 comments:

Candy said...

Never sleepwalked - or is it sleptwalked? Heterosexual toilet? What means this, teacher? I have used the Men's bog, if that's what it means. I have also used a "convenience" that was - and I guess still is - used by both sexes and I have used a Ladies - kind of more or less mostly really. So the answer the question is, probably.
Gender-switched? First thing I'd do is pee standing up, followed by an absent-minded scratch to think about my next move.
Nice questions - get your lot to come up with some more.

Vilges Suola said...

ABSTRACT: Heterosexual toilet is toilet use from not same gender people, not toilet in house, but toilet who is find to publicly place. 0% respondents in asking of question, doesn't go in such kind of toilet, because they can not enjoy. Purpose is ascertain what is reason for go and don't go to toilet as like. Methodology is ask people questions by questionnaire, who completes by talking or by pen. Finally it will interpret a data by deeply means.

Candy said...

I'm sorry - I would enter into the spirit, but I'm totally incapable due to suffocating laughter. You have a devastatingly accurate ear for the foreign patois, if that is what it is. I just fall about helplessly when I read your stuff....

Vilges Suola said...

I'm glad, than you laugh to suffocation incapably.

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