Wednesday, January 9, 2013

(Korean) Kids Say the Darndest Things

I wish I had begun a log at school, of the things my kids say to me. I'm sure I would have a lot more funny things to tell about, but I did make special note of two things today that made me laugh out loud in class.

The first instance was during my 2SAP class, with my girls I see every day. I have the two besties, Rachel and Kelly, then Charlotte who is the cutest thing, but not the brightest crayon in the box. Today, we were doing a writing assignment. The topic was "Think of a time when you did something nice for someone else without them knowing about it". I had to explain this a few times, and give examples for the girls to understand what they were supposed to do. Finally, they start to understand, and I have each of them tell me their story. Kelly goes first, then Rachel, and finally Charlotte. They all tell me about a time they have helped their mother. It's not exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, but I doubt I'll get much more, so I let them be. When we get to Charlotte's turn to tell the story, it goes something like this:

Charlotte: One time, my mom was sick in (points to head).
Me: Oh, she had a headache?
Charlotte: No, that one.
Me: Her head hurt?
Charlotte: No, no no...
Me: She... hit her head?
Charlotte: (*dismissive Korean wave of approval*)
Me: Okay, go on
Charlotte: One time, my mom was sick (points to head, again) and she was in hospital, and she was sleeping so I got 1,000 dollars (sidebar: she meant won, which is the equivalent of $1) out of my drawer and went to the place and (*begins consulting with Kelly and Rachel about the word she needs in Korean*)
Kelly & Rachel: Medicine
Charlotte: Medicine, so I went to that one place, and get the medicine and take and put on the... that one?
Me: Um, next to her bed?
Charlotte: No, no... by her.
Me: Uh.... okay. (?) Go on.
Charlotte: Then when mom wakes up, she says "Oh, who bring medicine?!" (*puts her hands on her hips, to imitate mother*)
Me: Uh-huh
Charlotte: And so I am just sitting there and (*crosses her legs, holds out one hand like she has a remote, looks up like she is watching a TV mounted on the wall and starts to WHISTLE*)

I cannot stop laughing. This girl has mastered the innocent "Who, me?!" act. After a moment of confusion ("Why is teacher laughing?!"), they all start laughing too. Charlotte's eyes light up at the attention and positive reactions, tugs at my arm, and does the whole act again. Well, the sit there whistling act. Then she throws in an innocent look towards "Mom" and a false "what are you talking about?!" smile. It's all just too familiar. Usually, my exchanges with the kids are either so childish they are mundane, or so foreign I'm lost. This whistling/looking innocent bit, it's just hilarious.

Finally, I calm the girls down and get them to writing, but it was definitely one of the highlights of my day.

The other moment that made me laugh was in my 3SAP class. Unforunately this was not quite as giggly, but still humorous. The kids have to memorize these sentences each night. Most of the time, they don't do it, so as I am checking homework, I make them memorize them quickly and repeat them for me. Today's sentences included the following: "One day, Bill found a nest of young geese. They were deserted." (It's a sentence out of the story we are reading). As I make my way around the room, the kids start calling for me to listen to their recitations and to check off that they completed them.

Me: "Okay, Sara, you ready?"
Sara: "One more time" (*glances at paper*) "One. day. Bill. found. a nest. of. young. geese. They. were. desert."
Me: "DesertED"
Sara: "deserted."
Me: "Good, who else?"

This same exchange happens several times, with the kids continually dropping off the "ed" of deserted, so that it sounds like: "Bill found a nest of young geese. They were dessert." It makes me smile each time, and eventually I ask the class, "What does dessert mean?"

I get several tentative hands up, and they all say something along the lines of "to be left behind" "abandoned" etc. I agree, tell them they are right, but the word they are defining is "deserted". The word "DESSERT" means a "sweet food you eat after dinner". (Of course, I know that the present-tense form of deserted is desert, but the way we are using it, they don't really need to be confused with that.) They give me tentative looks.

"Guys, the way you are saying this, leaving off the ED sound, you are saying 'Bill found a nest of young geese. They were a sweet meal after dinner, like cake and cookies!" That gets a round of giggles!

It's actual fun and sometimes funny to teach these kids. And I love when they actually "get" it. Not just memorize the definitions and repeat sentences, but apply the words and find the humor in things. I think it means they are really learning. So, hopefully these kids do not miss "deserted" anymore!

On a different note, we got 2 new teachers this weekend. We had dinner with them Sunday night, and they've been training this week. The new afternoon teacher is Tanya from Georgia. She seems like a nice and bright girl. Since Erin isn't getting fired anymore, looks like the director had to bite the bullet (aka two months pay for an extra teacher he doesn't need) so Tanya is currently our busy-work girl. Looks like I'll be getting some help with my grading and copying for the next 2 months! ;)

1 comment:

  1. And the Adventure continues . . . LOVE this blog. Talk about "making memories"! Thanks so much for making time to do such an amazing "tale of two cities". In your case, you have traveled a lot, right? More than TWO cities. Keep on keeping us updated. =)


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