Teacher, Tony Pucked Me

Annyong! Lindsay here. Whit will blog soon. Or so he says.

But I am here to tell you about the ugly side of my sweet sweet students. Hard to believe it just by looking at the pictures, huh?

Well, I am having a rampant problem with middle fingers. Sure it’s the moody sixth graders who flip each other off when I glance the opposite direction for a tenth of a second. I swear some can raise and it hide it all in the span of one of my blinks–which, admittedly, are a little long after lunch.

But it’s also my first graders, second graders, third graders, fourth graders and fifth graders. Just yesterday, I was teaching my lowest level class, a group of first graders who know their numbers and colors, and that’s it. If you change up your question, they won’t understand. I do really love them. Really.

But yesterday, when I told them after they finished their shape worksheets they could turn it over and draw a robot made of shapes, I certainly didn’t expect little Max to draw a perfectly-shaped fist with the middle-finger lifted. He then giggled when I discovered the obscenity.

And, also yesterday–how about my Monday?!?—one of my brighter students, Alex, in our everyday extra class sat and practiced the wind-up bird. Oh, not sure what that is? It’s where you move your opposite hand like a crank and slowly raise the middle finger of your opposite hand. He was doing it to no one in particular. It was just that he preferred to practice this execution of “the bird” to finishing page 17 like all the other students were doing.

But it’s not the act of raising their middle fingers that makes me cringe so much any more. It’s the tattling afterward.

“LINDSAY TEACHER!!! Tony just pucked me.”

“What?” I said–back in the days when I was so naive to what he could possibly be talking about.

“You know. Puck.” He says, a little quieter as if to lessen the blow of the word.
I’m still clueless. Surely this seven-year-old Korean boy who can’t tell a P from an F is not saying what I think he is saying.

“What?!?” I ask, annoyed that it’s so important that he must interrupt my tantalizing lecture on modes of transportation.

“He ….” he says, as he raises his middle finger to my face.

I try not to make a big idea of the middle fingers or the fact that they are saying incredibly obscene words. Because last year, I almost fainted when I realized what they were saying and lost my cool and chewed out the class. Which they thought was funny. Now I punish quickly and move on.

But I realized today this was karma. This is all because of that time when I was a terrible teenager and, not knowing what it meant other than ‘I’m mad at you’, I shoved it in my mother’s face before school one morning. I thought the grounding was enough back then. But apparently, God has a sense of humor.

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