Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Apricot Class and Orange Crazy

It finally happened. That bastion of guy-dom known as Apricot class is no longer a safe place for little Korean boys to practice their fart humor or stick crayons up their noses. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Apricot class has acquired its first girl.

Her name is Jia (English name: Abigail) and she is quite adorable. The boys were absolutely beside themselves when they met her. Korean boys don't seem to go through a phase where they think that girls have cooties. On the contrary, the Korean teachers are regularly called upon to preside over kindergarten weddings that are rent asunder the next day when Katie is seen holding Eddy's hand instead of Tony's.

When Abigail came in, the boys all dove under the table. This is because, after figuring out how much it annoys Lynn and I, it is really just their first response to any stimuli. Also, they were being shy. They continued to hide until Lukas crawled out and started chattering at her like it was his job. Kevin shuffled over only after Lynn demanded that he greet Abby. He got real close, head down, hands at his sides, said 'hi', and then ran away. Kris just settled for sitting very close to her and petting her hair all throughout the next period.

When it was time to play, the four of them could be seen escorting her through the halls - one in front, one holding each of her hands, and one behind, all chattering away. Abby's mom was hanging out throughout the day and seemed to find them all incomprehensibly cute. As did we all.

As for my older classes, I have begun to not mind staying so late to teach classes. I used to dread it, but now I know what I'm doing and none of the classes intimidate me anymore. There is still one class that is mostly rowdy boys that drives me up the wall. But I have learned my tricks to deal with them.

My last class of the day consists, now, of three kids. When I first got here, there were about nine kids in that class - I'm hoping it is not my fault that it dwindled. The two quietest kids from the original class are left and, now that its just those two and one other, I have come to understand that, unlike typical Korean kids who are quiet, they were only quiet because language was too big a limitation on their crazy.

Jin (English name: Helena) takes my dry erase markers when I am out of the class room and draws little faces on the table (no worries, it comes off easily). When I come back and ask that she please erase them, she refuses because they are "her friends".

Paul (not to be confused with kindergarten Paul in Apricot) likes to go around telling everyone he's a genius or a prodigy and changes his name on a daily basis. I'll call on him to answer a question and he will look at me blankly. I will then cycle through his other well known aliases including, but not limited to, "English", "Apostrophe", "Liquid Gold", "Rumpelstiltskin", "Orange" and most recently, "Harvard". At which point, if I haven't hit on one that suits him at the moment, I will demand he tell me what name he is operating under today so I can avoid going through the entire English language before he deigns to answer the question.

Ivy (whose name was Ingrid - my fault - until we decided on the more pleasant 'Ivy') is the most annoying of the three only because I can't get her to speak a lot of English. She always depends on Paul to translate for her. She, however, has an unholy obsession with Noah Ringer (who? you ask. Its the guy who played Aang in 'The Last Airbender'. How she got an obsession worthy crush out of that crap heap of a movie, I'll never understand). She also is the one that, before the bell even stops ringing, is already at my desk - poking me or asking me what I'm doing. Together, they make my days end on a pretty ridiculous note.

As a further note, if anyone gets the chance, you should read "Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson. I've only started but the linguistic geek in my is pretty thrilled. Its all about the English Language and its strangeness. This is really just a refresher for my linguistic anthropology class but its still really interesting. They did skip over a bit that I thought was important about the difference between a pidgin and a creole language. Basically, the only way to measure the difference is that a creole language has native speakers while pidgins don't. Most languages we think of a pidgins today - Hawai'ian pidgin, for example - are really creoles. Otherwise, really interesting.

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