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Tour of Duty Helped Me Teach English

  • Avatar of pirategennie


    [1]Sep 12, 2006
    • member since: 09/08/06
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 237

    Tour of Duty came out while I was in Japan but fortunately for me it was released on video there and I was able to watch it.  (It attracted my attention because it starred Terrence Knox of St. Elsewhere.)  I often used a couple specific episodes in teaching English at university level in and around Nagoya, where I lived and was employed, but once I used it not so much to teach but as a kind of revenge, and at a junior high school at that.

    I worked at the best university and best high school in Nagoya, a few other universities of varying quality, and the worst junior high school, probably in the world.  I saw teachers come to class drunk.  The students, all boys, had a habit of drawing genitalia on the walls and desks.  To call them rowdy would be to give you a falsely positive impression of them.  These were tough kids to teach!  (It's hard to teach people who are throwing desks at each other and pulling down their trousers in response to simple questions.)

    SPOILER coming, in case they ever show it....

    One day I brought in a copy of the episode of Tour of Duty in which the company finds a dying mother giving birth to an infant.  It ends badly; after everyone becomes quite fond of the kid, the little guy dies in battle.  All of our heroes are wounded and the show ends with them sitting in a helicopter that's carrying them to relative safety, all holding hands, and the Sergeant hlding hands with the dead baby.  A tearjerker to be sure!

    My bad boys were bawling their eyes out.

    I was SO gratified!  Maybe they're human after all.


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