The Balderdash and the beautiful

MISS LINDSAY!!!! SAY ANNYONG HASEO!! A gaggle of students shout at me during lunch, giggling between bites of red-bean soup and their daily dose of kimchi.

The secret is out. Whit and I know survival Korean. Whit started it. I don’t remember how. But it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s out. And they accost us every day. Believe me, this is their greatest discovery since ondol heating.

The kids have been amusing me to no end lately. Today I came home with a bounce in my step, laughing at the day’s transpirings. Just about every night at dinner, I remember a funny story and usually have Whit laughing in a fit along with me. Like my smart fifth grade class, the one who hangs on my every word about the world of science, who has taken to saying “SHIT!” every time they miss a question during my review sessions. The word really doesn’t mean a thing to them, and my co-teachers don’t even register it. It would be like saying scheisse! in America.

I’m not going to lie. I used to dislike children. They were weird, short, clingy and I had to censor myself when around them. Plus, I still felt the aftershocks of being a youth sports reporter at the Citizen-Times, when I would have to interview children on the phone about that amazing hit out of the ball park. Pulling teeth, that’s what it was like. Tortuous. And vacuous. A little something we called refrigerator journalism back in J-school.

But today I had to confess my newfound love for children. Who doesn’t love someone who tells you how beautiful you are every day? Laughs at all your jokes? Loves to hear you sing when you know full well you can’t keep a tune better than a sick cow? And feels famous just because you said hello to them in hallway?

I have a fan club of 300 short people.

What really made me laugh today was my seventh period “Friday Fun Day.” They are the one group I see everyday, and they also are the only ones who waver in and out of being in my fan club. Yesterday, after a lesson in what embarrassing means, I cracked a joke where no one laughed. “Now that’s embarassing. Nobody is laughing,” Rooney said.

They keep me on my toes, and aren’t swayed by my pretty stickers and once-a-week songs.

So today, I took Whit’s suggestion to play Balderdash. For those of you don’t know this game, it’s where you make up definitions of big words, read them aloud, and then everyone has to decide on the right one, which was always provided by me. The point is to make up a really unusual definition so another team will believe it.

And it turned out to be a bigger hit than the Wondergirl’s “Tell Me” song. The bell rang as the class ended. And they didn’t move, not one muscle.

For the word cartographer I got: “the man who throws money at a casino”–three votes; “a person who takes pictures out of his car”–two votes.

For the word spasm I got: “When a mosquito lands on your arm” – four votes; and “unusual and unwanted mail”–no votes but a lot of laughs for its confusion with spam.

We’re having some laughs, that’s for sure. Kids are so fun sometimes.

But before I wistfully wax poetic on my love for children too much, let me inform you (Mom), this doesn’t translate into any more grandchildren in the near future. 🙂


  1. deborah says:

    Girl what have you been smoking????Just wait until Monday morning! I can tell you are a related arts teacher that doesn’t have to deal with parents, homework folders, lunch money, teeth falling out, I could go on and on……..Anyway, I am truly glad that you like children! And I can tell you from experience that they are 100% more enjoyable when you are their parent. So rethink that not in the near future bit 😦


  2. Jessica says:

    Yeah, just wait until you’re ready for bed and they are suddenly wide awake. And it takes two more hours to get them to sleep. And then you finally go to sleep and 30 minutes later, they’re hungry. You just thought you were going to get to sleep! Well, at least it’s not all bad. My favorite part of the day is in the mornings when he is so sweet! I give him a bath (which he loves – he kicks and splashes and giggles) and then get him dressed. He loves to lay on the changing table (naked of course) and just talk to everything. The ceiling (his favorite), the wall, and sometimes me. Then he decides he’s had too much excitement and takes a nap. So much fun! And I still don’t like other people’s kids. So I guess I”m with Mom on that one. Much better when they are your own.


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