Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kids say the darndest things, part II

I thought you might enjoy some more humor at the expense of my charming students.

I have a class of fourth graders who are just beginning to experiment with romantic relationships.  By romantic, I mean cyber girlfriends and boyfriends they shy away from at school but text late into the night when they should be doing their English homework.  Last week the class spent the lesson writing an autobiography of their lives in twenty years.  They wrote about the countries they'd visit, the mansions they'd own, the families they'd build, and most importantly, the ideal spouses they'd marry.  My most advanced student wrote about how by that time he will have graduated from Juliard School of Music having majored in piano composition.  He will be a world famous pianist tired of the every day world and living in Tahiti.  As such, "while watching the wooden canoes drift in the clear blue water, I will compose new music for my wife."  This music will never be released, as it is strictly for the love of his life to enjoy.  His second-rate music will be made into records for the general public, but his best, most talented music will be reserved for his wife.  Furthermore, "my now girlfriend might become my future wife, if I know her and still like her then." I wish you both the best!

Another student wrote a rather dull essay, or so I thought.  I skimmed through the poor grammar, running my red pen over every mistake when suddenly I see, "It's a secret, but I really like Won Jae!" Woah, woah let's back track... "I want husband to like going church, so he will go with our family.  He should have good manners and make people laugh, like Won Jae.  It's a secret, but I really like Won Jae!"

Won Jae is another boy in class, who of course, has no interest in Do-Yeon, so at the start of our next class I announced that I would be reading their essays aloud.  Do-Yeon's eyes nearly popped out of her head. 

Another day in this class we were going over the new vocabularly, which has to do with Pilgrims.  As a result, the new words have a lot to do with religion, like worship, faith, and revive.  As I tried to explain revive, the kids weren't getting it, so I imitated fainting, then being revived a few times.  At long last, one kid got it and yelled out, "Oh! Oh! Like Jesus!"  I nodded as another kid chimed in, "Jesus Christ, SUPERSTAR!" How in the world do these kids know Jesus Christ, Superstar? I will never know.

Another class of students took a quick-response quiz, where they have only one minute to answer a series of questions.  One kid answered this way:

What's your favorite book? I hate reading, so I don't read books.
When did you read it? I already told you, I don't read.
Why did you like it? Are you serious asking me again?
Who do you want to read it? AHHHHH this is ridiculous.

One of my co-workers showed us a sentence her second grader wrote for the vocabulary word 'whisper.' He wrote, "Whisper words of wisdom, let it be."

Meanwhile in preschool, things are getting good.  One random preschooler saw Kyle in the bathroom and changed his name from Monkey Face to Caterpillar Face.  Since June 1st, there's been a strict 'No Korean' rule even during playtime.  I feel a little bad for the kids as they grasp for words and phrases, especially since some of them seem to think pounding a fist on their temple will bring the lost word to mind.  One poor boy with the widest eyes and deepest voice misunderstood the meaning of, "I love you" for almost an entire week.  Rather than saying, "I love the playroom," or, "I love pizza," he would say, "I love you, pizza!" and "I love you, playroom!"  It was almost too cute to correct him.

My boss asked Iryne and I to prepare a special song to sing for the children to sing to the mothers at the end of Open House.  Iryne found a really sweet song called, "Mommy I love you."  One day while we were practicing, one girl was singing in a fake baby voice and doing really obnoxious hand gestures.  When the song finished, I was just about to address her behavior when another girl spoke up.  "Don't do that! Sing nicely, or your mommy is very sad." 

A girl who always reminds me to turn on music while she's writing or coloring also gives me a daily nutrition lesson.  "Shelly kimchi...and...good...and...strong!" She also tells me fun facts like, "My house is two balloons! And my house is one dog!" Meanwhile the other kids are having a contest at who can out-compliment me.  "Shelly Teacher is beautiful!" "Shelly Teacher is beautiful star!" "Shelly Teacher is queen!" "Shelly Teacher is beautiful ballerina!" The overall sentence construction entertains me each day; it's like a puzzle trying to rearrange the words into the correct order.  "My is English! No Korean today, Shelly Teacher.  My is English!"  On the other hand, one girl's mother wrote a comment on her daughter's report card that said, "I'm really happy to see my daughter's English improving each month, but I'm also worried.  She's asking too many questions I can't answer, so I think her English is better than mine now." Similarly, sometimes the kids' sentences really amaze me.  One boy asked me to move by saying, "Shelly Teacher, please move your chair, I'm busy playing ninja."  Another girl approached me with a play tea set and asked, "Would you like to drink some chamomile tea?" Why, of course!

My little Huni had an accident in the playroom and peed down the slide.  No one thought it urgent to tell me, so they just kept playing.  Finally, one kid came up to me complaining that his socks were wet.  What? You're just sweaty. You'll be fine - go drink some water.  Then another kid said his socks were wet.  Okay, what is going on?  Then I heard the Korean word for pee, "Shi! Shi! Shi!" Ah, crap.  Settled at the base of the tube slide was a large puddle of urine.  Okay, who peed? Huni! It was Huni! Where's Huni? Huni, COME HERE! Playtime ended early that day, but luckily Huni's mother sent in an extra change of clothes at the beginning of the semester.

About a month later, I saw Iryne rushing out of Bear class holding Huni at arm's length.  I followed her into the Nightinggale Room and asked if everything's okay.  Huni had another accident.  This time she peed in a big lego bucket.  What! After a little more explanation, Huni told Iryne that the bucket looked a lot like those trainer potties little kids use.  After she changed I saw her skipping back to class through the hallway.  Huni, I say.  What happened to you? As her eyebrows rose up, a smile crept over her face, and she just shrugged her shoulders.  Then she skipped away.

1 comment:

  1. Ummmm I'm waiting for an update!!! Also---- when are you coming back in February? There is a possibility I could arrange a visit (my bf is going to China in February for the month-)it would be a triple whammy if I could go... see China/S.Korea for myself, spend a couple days in China with Randy, and best of all, get to see you! Let me know, inbox me on fb your departure dates.