Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Humpty Dumpty

Slowly, I think its occurring to my kindergarten students that I don't, in fact, speak Korean. I don't know what they were thinking up until this point - maybe that I was just pretending not to speak it so they would learn English? But it finally hit one of the kids today that no matter how many times he repeats the same words over and over in Korean, I will not understand. Its not that I'm purposefully being dumb. Its not like he can call a time out on me not speaking Korean just so he can clarify something. There is no turning the non-Korean speaking off. Its permanent.

The younger kids got it first. Kris, Min and Kevin, the four year olds in Apricot,(I have taken to calling them the three musketeers) got it about a week ago and so have taken to speaking as much English as possible. And I was really astonished at how much they learned. Just soaking it up like sponges.

Now, whenever I drop something they shout "Oh my Goshey!" and I managed to teach them the clean up song. Which, to be fair, is very simple, but I feel kind of proud that they can almost sing all the words in English.

These three also LOVE Humpty Dumpty. I'm not really sure why, but I think it has something to do with there being knights and horses in it. But everyday I have to read them a story from this story book, they will not listen to ANY story unless we listen to Humpty Dumpty first.

At which point they will divide the roles in the story. Min will be all the King's Men (this came about when he demonstrated to me that he knew the difference between his own name, Min, and 'Men' but wanted to disregard it anyway). And Kris is all the King's Horses because thats what he decided. The conversation - which is in 4 year old boy Korea so its not like I could follow it anyway - always stalls around what Kevin will be. This is because he is somewhat of a whiner and wets his pants in class every other day. He gets angry easily and is all around unpleasant most of the time.

Thus, the conversation deteriorates into what can be interpreted as name calling; at which point Kevin rolls his eyes up in the back of his head - which honestly is a little creepy - and starts screaming; charging at the other two, meaning to hit them.

What follows is a general breakdown of social order and the three of them end up either running down the halls screaming or, if I manage to catch them and impose TeacherLaw, crying in a corner.

Despite this, or maybe because of it, (who knows how the minds of little boys work?) they are always thrilled to see the story book when I bring it out and start shouting "Humpty Dumpty! Humpty Dumpty!"

Today, however, I saw that they no longer have the same story book. I wonder how they're going to react when they figure it out.

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