Now, I hope all of you faithful readers of mine know that I am a teacher. if you didn't here's my background info...
FOR THOSE WHO CAME IN LATE: (remember those old Indrajal Phantom comics?? you'd only know what im talking about if you're an Indian who grew up in the pre-home computers era like me)
I am an Elementary ESL teacher by profession. ESL strands for English as a Second Language. I work at an American School and my students are mostly from Korea or Japan with a few from European countries. I teach 2nd grade, which I think is the most interesting and challenging age to teach....by far!
OK...Now back to the topic. I am doing a unit on Families with my beginner ESL group of ESL Students. We were learning the names of family members and so, I wanted my kids to draw me a picture of their family. Most of the kids drew something like this
And when I see a picture like this, I know it has to be by one of my Korean girls!
So, here I am, walking among my busy bees, loking at their pictures, talking to them about the people in their family, and generally feeling good about myself that I what I taught has been well recieved and internalised, when I stuble,.... no.... actually trip and fall flat on my nose.... on this!!!
I squint, I blink and I rattle my brain, but for the life of me, I just can't get this picture! So I ask the lil artist...
Me: JH, Nice picture! What is it?
JH : Ms D, you don't know? Of course my Family, of course! (you must remember that my kids are just learning to speak English)
Me: Um... This is.... Your family?
JH: Of course my family.... you don't know? ( Still drawing, not taking his eyes off his work to see my eyeballs popping out)
Me: What are these numbers?
JH: (pointing to the No.1.) That is my Grandpa. He grew old so he died. See? (and then pointing to the object on the far right) He's dead and sleeping here now....see? But he's air. You cant see him.
Me: Ulp...I'm sorry....Do you miss him?
JH: And then this is my mother.She will grow old and then she will die. This is my father. He will grow old. Then he will die.
Then he pauses... I catch my breath.... I dont know what to think.... And then he continues....
JH: And this is me... I'm in 2nd grade. Then I'll grow (the arrow upward denotes growth) and I become big. I'm in 12th grade. Then I grow old and I die.
By now, my body is shaking with the laughter I'm trying so hard to contain. The he looks at me with his serious, innocent eyes.... I burst out laughing.... I can't stand anymore.... I'm on the floor... laughing.
Poor JH. He doesn't know what's come over his teacher.... All his classmates have come to peek into his picture as well to see whats got Ms.D in such a shape. And then he tells me....
"I don't know whats so funny.... All people die and become air!"
I've learned my lesson for the day.