Friday, December 3, 2010

Riding the Short Bus

I can’t believe it’s December already! I didn’t go out tonight, so I’ll update everyone instead. My only real exciting news is that one of my coworkers and I have booked tickets to Beijing for New Year’s, so I’m quite excited about that. Other than that, my life is boring. I’ve started taking a pottery class which is fun. I’m doing it with the same coworker who I’m going to China with, and she’s an awesome girl. She stepped in a dead cat the other day on the way to the post office to mail our visa applications. I would say stepped on a dead cat, but really it was just sort of a flat wad of cat in the middle of the road, so it was more of an in a dead cat moment than an on a dead cat moment.

That’s really all that’s new with me. I’ve been keeping track of some of the better moments with my children though.

This one requires a little bit of background. The kids come to English Academy in a “bus” which is really just a large van. It’s very similar to the vans which transport convicts from the prisons to the sides of highways to collect trash or the vans out of which child molesters offer candy to children outside schoolyards or the van into which Buffalo Bill stuffs the girl he’s going to kill in Silence of the Lambs. You get the picture. Anyway, the kids have a speaking section on their monthly test. A portion of Harry’s test went like this:

Me: “Ok, number 7, ‘What’s the best way to learn English?’”
Harry: [long silence]..... [joyful childish light appears in his eyes] “Ride the short bus!”

Yes, Harry, many of you belong on the short bus, but unfortunately the special ed method of learning English really isn’t working for you or your peers.

A group of the younger kids saw the cover of a book about Martin Luther King Jr. and all started yelling, “Obama! Obama!” No, children, not all black people in the US are Obama.

Kids aren’t supposed to chew gum in class, but I think that’s a little silly. If they’re not chewing with their mouths open like a herd of disgusting cows, I don’t really care about it. One of the children from my class from hell, eager to tattle on another child in the class from hell, stands up in his desk, points to a kid on the other side of the room and yells, “Teacher! Colin’s chewing cum! He’s chewing cum!”

And on that lovely note, I’m off to bed.

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