Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The Japanese have a saying, a brilliant bit of wisdom if I must say - "口は災いの元".
Literally, "The mouth is the source of troubles."

It's likely why I was unusually reticent as a child (I knew it then without actually knowing it.) and thereafter never developed any further skill with the spoken word.

But as no one understands half of what I say here anyway, I naturally take advantage of this, throw all cares to the wind and babble out whatever pops into my head.

"Wake up or stand up!"
- they are perpetually trying to sleep in class. He stood up immediately. He could have just WOKEN UP, but as no one is ever listening to me in the first place, I didn't bother to correct him.

"It's not a dance floor."
- typical example of minor punishment is to have the student stand outside. I don't like that for several reasons the main one of which you simply can NOT trust them to just sit down and make themselves comfortable or merely walk off someplace.
So my version is they stand at the front of the class on my large dias. (Besides, it's more humiliating this way.)
For the first time I caught someone doing the moonwalk up here today.

"I WILL beat you with the bunny stick."
- aaah, the bunny stick. How I love thee.
In general, you don't have too much problems with the girls classes. That's rather true internationally. But wrongdoings can not go unnoticed forever and sometimes an example must be made.
For the girls, I do the worst thing possible - I use the bunny stick to MESS THEIR HAIR.
For the one and only, singular boys class the rates gentleness because they are so good - I just whack them on the head.
(They're sooo good!!! When I tell them to stand in the corner, they actually STAND IN THE CORNER!! I love that class.)

"You don't speak to me like that!"
- aah, things I remember hearing from my childhood. (Fortunately, I wasn't on the receiving end.) It's almost nostalgic to find myself saying them now, the way the tumble off my lips so thoughtlessly, naturally.
Seriously, children are extremely rude to the foreign teachers here. It was quite a shock the first couple months after teaching in Japan for 4 years. There's nothing to explain it except to say that THIS is the Korean way of things.

"If I wait, YOU wait."
- My newest technique for getting them to shut up not just QUICKLY but for more then 5 minutes is deliciously effective. Even more so then the nailpolish. For every minute the make me wait, they wait that long in class After the bell rings. :D
This is really great because you're hitting them directly where it hurts - the stomach and the Korean teacher.
There's only two options for the 'next class'. It's either lunch/dinner, in which case you're delivering a belly-hit, or it's a Korean teacher's class.
They may treat us like week-old road kill, but they respect and FEAR the Korean teachers. They'll stroll into my classroom 5 minutes past start time, but they will run from this same classroom in order to not be late for their Korean teacher's class.
Boy, do they listen carefully these days.

And as always there are the assortment of curious conversations...
Student: "You are scary."
Me: "Yes. I am."
** Her intention was to say that I liked scary things, but I didn't bother to correct her since I agree under either meaning.

Student: "Your face is so small. You are so cute!"
** Yes, I happen to embody the Asian pinnacle of beauty - tall in height (by Asian standards, of course), small face, big eyes, tall nose. (As opposed to big nose. Not big, 'tall'.)

To a Kindergarten boy that kept shoving his toy tank in my face while we were trying to have class -
"Oh, yes, it's very nice. However, I'm against war under any circumstances."

Possibly my current favorite.
Said to a table of girls up front. You remember seeing those nature shows with monkeys grooming themselves, picking out bugs from their fur and eating them?
One of the little monkeys was laying across two others at her table all three of which were searching intently through her hair. I couldn't resist.
"Are you looking for bugs?"
*squeals* "No, no! White hair!"
White hair acquired and yanked free.
In a fleeting moment of sympathy I said "Aah, you are to young."
As student in question despondantly examined the hair - "Yes, I am."
"I think it's stress."
And just as sadly - "Yes, stress."

Cheers! (^_-)-☆

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