Thursday, December 15, 2005

Chinese kids say the darndest things part 372,925

Most of my students are excellent. They're motivated, friendly, energetic, and in all honesty a monkey could teach these kids. Thankfully though, this doesn't stop them from occasionally saying funny things.

First of all, I had another t-shirt sighting that's even more puzzling than Candy Stripper. A different student's clothing was emblazoned with the slogan "Sex, Bananas, and Rock & Roll". Now, bear in mind that my own experience with rocking is admittedly limited (I've watched This is Spinal Tap a few times), so it hardly qualifies me as an expert in the field of Rock & Roll. Heck, I'm not even a student intern in the field of Rock & Roll, but I could tell you that of the three things on that girl's shirt, one didn't fit. That's not to say that bananas don't have their place in the Rock pantheon (I mean, just look at Keith Richards...that's a man who could go for a good banana), but I vaguely remember hearing a different word used. Maybe I'm just crazy.

In another one of my classes, the most oft-shouted English sentence was "Come on baby, don't be shy". Before you make any snap judgements, three things for your consideration- a). They would say it at random and not direct it at anyone in particular, b). I did not teach them that expression, and c). this is an all-girl class. I'm not sure if they fully understood the implications of what they were saying, but it didn't seem like the best time to launch into an impromptu lesson about context, subtext, and sexual harrassment. I settled for simply telling them they probably shouldn't continue to say it.

Then came Wolf. Yes, a kid named himself Wolf, and no, he's not 8 years old. Wolf is a first year student and he's...weird. Friendly, enthusiastic, and very weird. When he talks, he gestures a lot with his hands, but his middle finger is always extended. I've told him repeatedly about this, but it hasn't seemed to change anything. Anyway, he's a nice kid, just weird (in case you didn't get it the first two times I used that word.)

So, in class today we were talking about what people would give out as Christmas presents if they were independently wealthy. Most people would say a few quick words about buying nice things for their parents and friends, but not Wolf. No, Wolf took it upon himself to talk for at least 4 straight minutes about the Christmas presents he would give. I lost track of his stream-of-consciousness diatribe about 30 seconds in, and so just nodded my head along.

He opened up by talking about how he'd give letters to the leaders of Taiwan and remind them that they are part of China and that they are all yellow people (his words, not mine) and they should be working together and then there was a lot more stuff, but I didn't hear it because I was literally biting my lip. The next thing I managed to hear partially involved something about sharing girlfriends with other people. If this paragraph has thus far seemed rambling and incoherent, that's only because the source material was. As his speech progressed, it got increasingly jingoistic and violent. By the end, his Christmas gift was going to be three bombs, one for Bush, one for Chen Shui-bian (President of Taiwan), and one for Junichiro Koizumi (Prime Minister of Japan). He said that if these three people were killed, there would be World Peace. It was at that point that I experienced the verbal logjam, I had so many things that I wanted to say that they all got stuck and I ended up being silent. I nodded, I think. And then I went on to the next person. They wanted to buy their father a car.

So, what have I learned? I've learned that the true Axis of Evil is America, Taiwan, and Japan. I've also learned.......ummm....pretty much nothing else. Anyway, I'm off for now, I have more to talk about later, but in the meantime there's a band playing this weekend and I've heard that their bassist can hook us up with a sweet load of bananas.

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