December 9, 2011
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Me: Can you guess what day December 16th is?
4th graders: …
Me: Just guess. It’s okay if you’re wrong.
Boy: *raises hand*
Boy: …I’m probably wrong, but…is it…Sensei’s…?
Me: Uh huh? 😀
Boy: …wedding anniversary?
Everyone: *explodes into laughter*
Yesterday, at my other school:
Me: Do you know what day December 16th is?
Girl: *raises hand*
Girl: Sensei’s birthday!
Me: Yes, you’re right!
Me: Yay! It’s *starts writing on the board* Sen…sei’s…birth…day…Yay! *starts drawing smileys, hearts and stars*
Another girl: Sensei that’s vandalism*.
Me: It’s not vandalism, it’s “decoration.” 😡
Me: But we’re not talking about my birthday today…*crosses out birthday*
Everyone: *in great disappointment* AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!
Me: O_O …You guys, we’re talking about Christmas today! You know…CHRISTMAS! *points to December 25th*
Everyone: *light bulb goes off*……ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
*What she said in Japanese is “rakugaki,” which means “scrawl, scribble, or graffiti.” The reason I translated it as vandalism is because of the negative connotation my student delivered in this context; the idea was that I was messing up what I wrote by drawing pictures around it. While not vandalism in the legal sense (it was on a whiteboard, not a desk), it was the same idea as if someone was scribbling graffiti to mess up something otherwise neat and clean. If this doesn’t make sense, see this quote from George Orwell in my Twitter profile.
All in all, I get trolled by my kids a lot, whether they realize what they’re doing or not.