v. (used without object)
1. to explode with a loud noise; detonate.
2. to issue denunciations or the like (usually followed by against): The minister fulminated against legalized vice.
We have a new English teacher. Rumors about her flew thick even before she arrived, especially about the legend of how she gave them a one-digit final score on their English test, how English had been terribly hard under her “rule”, and so much more. Therefore, I was very, very eager to see the famous Ms. Ha.
Sadly, I was in the orchestra and had to play my viola in the musical performance for our school’s freshman entrance ceremony today, and missed English class. By the time the orchestra performance was over and I entered the classroom, Ms. Ha was packing up her things to leave. She directed a flashing gaze to me and barked out briskly, “Everyone’s coming back?”
“Yes, orchestra’s finished,” I responded. She nodded, a tight, firm nod. I watched her quickly, fascinated: she had sharp, very bright eyes framed by short, frizzy black curls, an intense gaze, and an angular but very white, very striking face which showed no common strength of character. As the bell was now ringing, I asked my friends what she was like. One of my friends, Ellie, said, “In my opinion, I think you’ll like her! She’s totally changing our English class. She said with her own mouth that she is not a kind teacher!” Robin said, “She is very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY harsh. She used English for the WHOLE class – not a word of Korean. She said we have to finish memorizing the whole of Word Smart I by midterms. And two people already got their points deducted in our first class.”
“And our homework,” finished Ellie, “is to read The Morals of the Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli by next class.”
“Are our classes going to be run in the same way as last year?” I asked.
“Kind of, yet it’s still very different.
This was certainly different from our previous English classes, where we just spent every single class drilling words, solving questions from our SAT book, and memorizing everything our teacher said. This time, Ellie said, the teacher had insisted that we must ask questions about the text, and she would explain according to our questions; if we were silent, she wouldn’t teach anything further about the text, and we would have to take the test without any prior information. In short, she insisted upon great participation – or a B.
“Did you know?” about three people told me today. “When she taught the seniors, their average in English was a C.”
I lifted my head, my eyes sparkling. Even though the new curriculum sounded very, very rigorous, and somewhat frightening, I felt a relish at the challenge. At least we would be able to learn some real English this year.
“I can’t wait,” I said.