Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Centipedes, Moustaches and Slushies

This blog post will primarily be about funny stories of things that have happened with my students. But first, I must tell you about the enormous bug I found in my apartment last night.

By found, I mean saw it crawling up my wall, which resulted in me panicking. My natural instinct would have been to scream and run around the room in circles, but unfortunately I live alone and that would not have resolved the issue. At this point it was at the top of my wall. I went and grabbed a shoe, intending to squish it. I walked the two inches to my entry way, grabbed a shoe and by the time I got back to the wall, it was GONE! The speed at which that thing moved was shocking. I managed to find it and kill it (sorry any bug lovers, but under no circumstances was that thing going to be alive in my apartment with me.) I felt flustered and heart-attacky for the rest of the night and kept jumping every time I saw a shadow or my hair touched my arm. Then my friend Emily was kind enough to suggest that maybe the centipede came in on my clothes. Then I started panicking that it came inside in my purse and I'd been carrying it around for hours under my arm. I ended up going to bed much later than planned due to my panicking and phantom itching.

I learned later that it was a House Centipede and harmless to humans for the most part. But I did read this charming explanation of the house centipede: House Centipedes have fangs, which resemble the fangs of a spider, on the underside of their head."

And the one to top it all and prevent any type of sleeping that might have been had last night:

"They do bite humans, but generally that's because you are moving around in your sleep while they are on/in your bedding." Lovely. I am officially going to wake up with a centipede on my face.

This one from Wikipedia makes me laugh though:

"In 1902, C.L Marlatt, an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture wrote a brief description of the house centipede: It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, particularly women, evidently with a desire to conceal itself beneath their dresses, and thus creating much consternation"

At least it wasn't this type of centipede, which are apparently also found in Korea:

Before this blog post turns into a post all about centipedes, I will move on to a funny story about this weekend. I woke up latish, as I do most weekends because I am recovering from my 6 day work week. I decided to be productive and go to a museum. The one I intended to go to required 2 transfers on the Subway, but I figured that would be ok and it wasn't actually that far. I got on the 2nd line of the 3, thinking I had a few stops until the one I needed to get off on. I was reading my book ("I Know This Much is True" by Wally Lamb) and did not realize how fast the stop came. I thought I was checking every stop, but apparently I missed one and rode past the stop. Unfortunately, I did not notice this for a long time and rode around on the subway for a considerable amount of time, looking up from my book thinking "This is taking longer than it should" until I finally realized I'd missed the stop a long time ago. At that point, it was too late to go to the museum and see it all, so I just went home. My Sunday consisted of a very exciting 2 hour ride on a subway. It was very productive.

Alright, onto my students. I have a few stories. I'm sure there are others that I've forgotten. In fact I know there's one from this afternoon. As it happened, I thought "I've got to remember this for my blog" and about 20 minutes later I'd completely forgotten. Hopefully, I'll remember that one soon. I'm thinking that my sleeping patterns are affecting my memory. Oh the life of being a teacher from 4PM-10PM.

Story 1: This weekend, I was explaining what a moustache was.

Me: A moustache is hair here *Points to area under my nose*
Student 1: "Teacher, your hair is yellow-- is your moustache yellow, too?
Me: Is it normal for a girl to have a moustache:?
All Students: WHOA NOOOOO
Student 1: But teacher, your hair is yellow--is your moustache yellow?
Me: I don't have a moustache!
Student 1: "Yes, but IF you had one, would it be yellow."
Me: "Yes, it would be. IF I had one."
Student: "You have a yellow moustache

Story 2: I am teaching Arabian Nights to my very young students. The first page talked about the Sultan and how he murdered his wife because she had taken a lover. I was thinking in my head, "How am I supposed to explain this to my students?" I ended up asking my students "Why was the Sultan angry?"

One girl answered, "Because she loved another man" (In her perfect Australian accent. That's still bizarre to me to have a student who's fairly low level speak in a perfect Australian accent).

I said, "Yes, exactly!" feeling a little relieved that I didn't need to go into more detail. But THEN, student number 2 raises his hand. He said, "The Sultan is angry because his wife is a playgirl." My reaction was to laugh hysterically that a 5th grade student had just used the word "playgirl" in my class. The things students come up with!

Story 3: This one requires no explanation.

Me: Your grandfather is elderly. Who else is elderly?
Student: You.

Story 4: Along the same lines of story 3...aka students making me feel old.

Me: Who has read Harry Potter or seen the movies?
Middle School Student: Ewww, Harry Potter is old and NOT CUTE!
Me: *Thinking "He's younger than me!" did not say that, but I felt very old.

Story 5: One day in class, this kid was goofing off in class. He had his hands sticking out of his sleeves like a T-Rex and came to the front of the class to throw away his slushie, which he'd only finished about half of it. I said to him, "Please put it nicely in the trash. Don't throw it" which resulted in him not listening to me, of course, and attempting to throw it in the garbage from about 5 feet away. But, remember, his arms are in his sleeves like a T-Rex, so his aim was several feet off. I was standing about 2 feet away from the trash and he hit me straight in the stomach with the slushie. The look on his face was extremely hysterical. He looked absolutely terrified. I should have been a little harder on him, but unfortunately, I also thought it was really funny, so I kind of laughed and said "see, that's why we have to put the trash in the trash can nicely. No throwing" Luckily, it came out of my shirt very easily.

Story 6: One of my 4th grade girls has a shirt that says, and I quote directly, "Stop the Apartheid of Lesbian Nazi Lettuce Growers for Jesus of the Nuclear Whale Wars."

Story 7: Not really a story of my students, more of a dream. I had a very strange dream, which involved meeting Jim Broadbent in a movie theater in Seoul, Kellie and Allison Cloud surprising me by randomly showing up in the middle of the street I work/live on and then two of my students forcing me to take them to "Tron" instead of hanging out with said Kellie and Allison. I have not seen Tron, nor have I given Tron any thought in my life, so it was kind of hilarious.

Story 8:
Me: What does "disappear" mean?
Student: Vomit
Me: Vomit?
Student: Yes, vomit
Me: Vomit as in "bleghhhhhh?"
Student: No wait, VANISH!

Story 9:
Me: Who is a thief?
Student: Barack Obama

Story 10: Direct Quotes following a listening test

"The liver is a large body of water." "Rivers can melt the mountain." "The river is as large as our body."

Story 11: Again, not really a story, but I thought I'd include some of the funny names of my students. Most students have English nicknames. Some of them choose the names themselves, others are given to them by other teachers. I have had several Harry's, Ron's and Luna's because of Harry Potter. My favorites have definitely been Kramer, Arnold, Leo, Rocket, Dragon and Raphael for the boys. Girls choose more common names. I've had lots of Jenny's and Sarahs, but some are a little less common like Irene, Milliam, Juliet, Chloe, Stella etc. Arnold is definitely my favorite of the names, because it is hilarious to say, "yes Arnold" Now, if only there was a Helga...

And that's all for now. I am sure many more stories will come!


  1. Love the stories! Kids are hilarious! Ugh- centipede! I hate bugs. Hey Arnold! Move it football head! Was that enough short sentences? No. Not yet. One more. Glad you're having fun!

    P.S. Harry Potter!!! So sad it's over :(

  2. Very entertaining as usual. You must spend a lot on time laughing in class..

  3. The section about the house centipede rang true for me, and exactly as you wrote it: I saw the thing on the wall of my new apartment and went to get something to kill it, only to find it was GONE!

    Then, weeks later, it re-appeared. I panicked first but managed to smash it with a shoe (and then another - to be sure). It was disgusting and I haven't been able to sleep without drawuing up the image of it. Yuck!

    Thanks for sharing.