Level Three. Accents.
Level Three. Accents.
By Michelle Lloyd.
R V was academic but conventionally, what did this mean? Well, at school R V was adept at the higher mathematics class problems but he found the harder, more complicated questions easier to solve than the ones everybody else took to answering quickly. It did put him at odds sometimes with everybody else. Having gotten over this stumbling block by adapting to the situation and even helping out with other class peers and their particular hard to solve problems, this had turned him from zero to hero in terms of his school rep.
It was adapting to other situations that could be a bit more of a stressful complication to navigate. Why was this? R V did not always, as with his maths skill, think like everybody else. One of these issues that he felt he had trouble with was in language and specifically accents. An extremely good mimic, R V found that often if he heard someone who had an accent, albeit on TV or in person, he would soon after start talking with EXACTTLY that same elongated pronunciation or a terrific typical twang.
While sometimes this was thought of as funny, it could also be problematic. When, for example at school an important visitor was being shown round and R V was asked to stand up and give a small welcome to the class speech, it did not go well at all!
The visitor had a definite accent and R V found that after having heard him talk for only a few minutes, this influenced his own speech greatly. Not knowing what had caused this outburst of an imitation had R V’s teacher apologising profusely and consequently her questions about what he was doing and what his intentions were, they did not help either. The explanation from R V only emphasised the new-found accent further and this predicament was responded to with laughter that emanated from the whole class.
R V did not know where to put himself and more importantly he felt that he was being totally misunderstood. Accents were not deliberate on his part but subconsciously worked their way into his speech. The subsequent being held in after class was not easy for R V, someone who hardly ever had been in this kind of trouble before.
Every time his teacher tried to understand what had happened, R V felt too scared to respond for fear of being misunderstood again. It took his dad’s appearance to improve matters, as after listening to what had happened, he could explain why it was that it had.
The situation had still been an ordeal but R V learnt that at least having fully enlightened the teacher, the consequences were not as bad as expected. Actually when she heard about R V’s ability to mimic, the teacher confessed that she had been prone to a bit of a similar issue herself as a child. Instead of become angered by it, she had a little think and promised that she would explain to the visitor that what had happened had not been a deliberate insult and that even better, she had an idea about how the accent accomplishment could be put to good use.
Fast forward a few weeks and stood there was R V on the stage at his school talent show. A repertoire of approved accents from school staff and peers was recognised and applauded. This time the laughter that came was fully appreciated and welcomed by everybody.