Thursday, November 24, 2011

girls after my own heart.

every thursday and friday i have story time with some 6th grade girls. we sit in the library for an hour and they read books to me. today was a normal day like every other thursday and friday until su bin.... okay wait. su bin definitely needs an introduction.

 oh gosh, where do i even start? when i first met her in september i thought she was mentally handicapped. i would like to think that i have a small "eye" for that kind of thing after working with students who have disabilities for almost two years. and i just sensed it. she had a blank look in her eye that was borderline devious. she never paid attention, couldn't sit in a chair for more than 20 seconds and was kind of wild. she refused to pick any of my english names the day when all the other students picked new ones. she just stubbornly kept repeating "ET" over and over. i let her keep her ET name. in my head i secretly thought it fit her/was so sad that she picked the name of an alien and other people called her by it. like an overweight kid picking the name piggy/tubbs/fatty. so sad right? well this went on for a while until i found out that instead of ET standing for 'extra-terrestrial' like i thought, the kids meant for it to stand for 'elephant-tiger.' equally as confusing right? fast forward to mid october. ET went through a coming of age period and wanted me to start calling her by her korean name SU BIN. i quickly agreed because i felt bad/weird calling her ET/xtra-terrestrial/elephant-tiger.
she is the only student, well mostly the only student, that mimics everything i say, but intentionally mumbles it and wiggles her head so she and therefore i look like a fool. i don't mind though because if i were in her shoes i would totally be doing the same thing, except in my head because i wasn't as gutsy as her when i was in 6th grade. so in short, i have begun to think she is less handicapped and more endearing.

so anyways, back to the story. we are reading a story about three little goats and i follow along and tell her the words she doesn't know (which is about 90% of them). and every word that i say she intentionally changes slightly.
K: goat
SB: goap
K: mother
SB: muffer
but then she gets gutsy because the other girls are laughing.
K: goat
SB: hymoney (korean for grandma)
K: mother
B: bulgogi (korean for barbecue)
and it's at this point where she starts slipping in culinary terms that i fake faint and fall on the table moaning and fanning myself in the most dramatic way possible. "bulgogi!??!!" i point to the drawing of the mother. "BULGOGI!!!????" and then the three 6th grader girls are under my spell and are giggling until the cows come home.

they stand up and start squatting while motioning things falling/gushing out of their pants. imagine a mime giving birth while standing up. this completely threw me for a loop. dah hale? until they say "bathroom." and i about die. they were trying to tell me that su bin was laughing so hard that she was going to pee her pants.
it was a grand moment, this teaching opportunity where i could tell my little ladies how to 'say pee my pants' (a phrase i have said well into the millions of times) and it was one of my most favorite korean moments to date.

the lovely miss su bin:

(previously known as ET.)

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