A PLAY ON “THE FINAL TEST”
BY AMADEU MARQUES
THE FIRST NARRATOR: This is a picture of Shakespeare Road. You can see a school in it: the Shakespeare School of English. It is the white house with the blue windows. Number 42, Shakespeare Road. Fabiola goes to that school every morning. No, she is not a student. She teaches there. She teaches English to foreign students, a wonderful job! She lives at number 43 Shakespeare Road, just across the road. That’s very good, but it also has a negative side: She never has an excuse when she is late for work!
THE SECOND NARRATOR: Do you like to read stories in English? What kind of stories do you like? Jokes, funny stories, mystery, nonsense? Or do you prefer non-fiction: texts about ecology, nature etc.?
Well, the teacher Fabiola knows a story that has a little bit of those things. She hopes you like it.
THE THIRD NARRATOR: English is the national language in Ceara. Young people come from all over the world to study English here, and some of them are in Fabiola’s class now: Samia, from Horizonte; Junior, from Cascavel; Jessica, from Sobral; Lilia, from Aracati; Gerovane, from Itaitinga; Evania, from Quixada; Evangela, from Banabuiu; and Anatalia, from Fortaleza. This is how it begins.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: I am very happy with the progress all of you are making in English. Tomorrow you are going to have an oral test. I want each of you to prepare a short interesting story about something from your city. I want you to memorize it and then speak about it.
ALL THE STUDENTS TOGETHER: But that’s very difficult to speak in English, teacher!!!
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Look at the poster on the wall and think about it. Some things are not easy, so people (especially lazy people) never try to do them. But those things are difficult simply because we do not try to do them.
THE NEXT DAY:
SAMIA: Me!! I want to tell you about a funny dog I had. It is black, big and dangerous dog. One day it got ride off home. Everybody in Horizonte city looked for it. But nobody found it It appeared just next day with a new girlfriend
THE FIRST NARRATOR: Everybody laughs at Samia’s story. The teacher is happy because Samia used her creativity telling an interesting story in English.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Congratulations, Samia. Your story is an interesting joke. It’s a success. Now, who is going to present the next story?
JUNIOR: Me!!! “ai hevi a estori de cascavel. Uma cobrona bien grandona deti leivin dea. Everibodi ficava iskeuridi bicosi de cobrona era dengirous. De men piso em riba duma cobrona. Entonces de cobrona baiti rim on ris legui. Afta dis dey de city uoz coldi Cascavel.
THE SECOND NARRATOR: Everybody laughs at Junior story because he told his story in two languages: Portuguese and English.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Now who is going to be the next student to speak?
JESSICA: Me!!! I am Jessica, from Sobral. Sobral is a hot place. “as mucirocas todinhas vive la” Un día, yo estaba allá en la casa de mi tia. Yo estaba dormiendo cuando yo vi un “mucirocão desse tamanio” taquei um tapa en su cara!!! Aí, entonces a tadinha estribuxouse de miedo, gente!! Cayo muerta en el suelo pra siempre forever, entienden gente. Despues consegui durmir bien, so!!!!
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Mucho bien, muchacha!!! Su espanhol is mui bom. But yo quiero que tu hable in English, entendio mi bixinha?
THE THIRD NARRATOR: Everybody laughs at Jessica too because her speaking is a big disaster. She epeaks like um matuto of ceara called DIDI. Do you know DIDI?
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: I am tired to listen to silly stories. Who is the next person to tell a serious and intelligent story now?
LILIA: Me!!! I am from Aracati. Vou contar uma estoria da minha terra. Todo mundo la fala titia, titia, titia e titia. Teacher, please. How to say “titia” in English? Num güento mais ouvir dizer “titia” da minha terra.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: ti, ti, ti, ti ti do um zero. What a stupid story!!!
THE FIRST NARRATOR: everybody laughs at Lilia’s stupid story. She was very sad and shy. She started to cry.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Stop crying, girl!!! You are an irresponsible student! Now who is the next to surprise me?
GEROVANE: Me!!! Teacher, can I stand up first? Look at me! Pay attention to my story. My story is about me. I live in Itaitinga since I was a child, but I never liked to live there because this city have lots of robbers. I am not patient with them. “Eu vou logo é metendo a faca neles!” I am not calm!!! I am not calm!!! I am not calm!!! Olha a faca!!! Olha a faca!! Olha a faca!!!
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Gerovane, senta-te!! Senão, olha a faca!! Gosta de se mostrar. Vou te mostrar UM ZERO!!!
THE SECOND NARRATOR: HÁ, HÁ, HÁ, HÁ, HÁ, HÁ, HÁ,!!!!! Everybory continues laughs at Gerovane because his stupid story too.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: OK!!! I am getting angry with all stupid and silly stories.
Who is the next to tell other stupid story?
EVANIA: Me!!! Teacher, can I speak in Portuguese mismo? Yo no saber hablar e ni spikar in inglish. Sabe, my mother mi pidio pra mi fazer este curso, mais I no, no, sei spikar in inglish. Mucho dificio. Inglish é tão dificio que é mais facio fazer uma galinha de uma pedra que falar ingles, viu neguinha?? Sou da terra da galinha choca, mais o que mais choca é ficar aqui numa cadeira dessa chocando as palavras para sair tanto palavriado feo. Num sei falar ingres naum, titxar!!!
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: Stop! Stop!!! I don’t want to listen to your story again!!! ZERO!!!!!Tu ingress é orrive!!!! E tu portugues tambien!!! Volta pra tua terra hoje mesmo!!!!
THE THIRD NARRATOR: I can not believe! The teacher is tired. The students are asleeping. The class is boring. The teacher changes the class.
THE TEACHER FABIOLA: The class finishes. I need to go home to rest now. I need to take a medicine for my headache. Good bye, everybody!!! I don’t want to see you again next class saying silly stories and attending my class again. Go to Hell!!! I am not your teacher anymore.
EVANGELA: Wait a minute, teacher! I know speak English very well. I want to tell you my story. First, let me have a breath! Let me have a breath!!! OH! I forgot all, sorry! Sorry!!! Sorry!!!
ANATALIA: Teacher, I am crying!!!! Don’t go away!!!! Don’t go away!!! I like you so much!!!!
ALL THE STUDENTS TOGETHER: It is not because English is difficult that we do not speak well; it is because we try to speak English with a difficult teacher.
ALL THE NARRATORS TOGETHER: The teacher who has no imagination has no wings and has no more students to teach; has no more classes to give; has no more good humor to feel young. ZERO TO THE TEACHER AND CONGRATULATIONS TO SENECA AND THE STUDENTS!!!!!!!!!!!