We suffered an annoying snafu at school today when as the result of poor planning we were directed to have all of our homeroom students phone home to schedule their parent-teacher-student conference for next Friday. Unaware that anything was out of the ordinary with this plan, my sixth graders were game to call their folks, but a little confused as to what to say. "Just say that we got the materials this morning and we want to let people know as soon as possible," I suggested somewhat disingenuously.
The first guy picked up the receiver and dialed confidently, probably because I often ask him to call home and ask his parents to remind him to bring in all manner of signed things from report cards to field trip slips. His mother answered, and although I could not understand the conversation word for word (it was in Tigre), I did understand that it wasn't going as planned. "What time does she want?" I asked after he hung up with a sigh.
"She didn't say a time," he answered. "She was mad."
"Why?" I asked.
"She told me I should have asked her about this yesterday, and we'll talk about it tonight," he said.
I nodded sympathetically. Right sentiment, wrong target.