Friday, February 15, 2008

Kids Ask the Darndest Things!

I'm always a little apprehensive before an elementary school visit, but once I'm at the school, I usually have a great time.

Sanbongi Elementary School is probably my favourite school. The kids are always genki (energetic, cheerful) and excited to be with me; it's the one school where I get the "rock star" treatment, i.e. kids ask me to sign their notebooks and things.

So today I was teaching the fifth graders at Sanbongi ES and it was my first time meeting them, so I did my self-introduction followed by a time for questions. One of the classes came up with a lot of amusing questions. Well, I guess the individual questions weren't really that funny, but together they totally made me smile:

- Are you married? (This is all in Japanese, of course.)
- What type of person do you like?
- Do you have a boyfriend?
- Do you plan to get married?
- Do you want to get married?
(The last two were asked by the same student. =P)

One student asked me about famous Canadians (I NEVER know how to answer this one, especially since it's always elementary kids who ask it!) and the only person I could think of that they might know was "Avril Lavigne." They misheard me, though, and thought I said "afro." I corrected them, of course, and we all had a good laugh.

Then a couple of minutes (maybe 10 questions) later, as the final question of the class, a student asked: "Since you have long hair, have you ever had an afro?" =P

That was probably the best question I've ever been asked during a self-introduction. ^_^

On a somewhat related note, I had a bit of a chuckle over the answers some of my second grade students at Kirita gave to the question: "What's your type?"

In Japanese, "ogenki desu ka" is roughly equivalent to "How are you?" and "genki desu" is "I'm fine." So in this context, genki in English is "fine," but in general the translation of genki would be more along the lines of "energetic" or "cheerful." Well, my students didn't really know this, so when they were answering the question "What's your type?" a couple of them said things like: "Kind and fine."

My JTE thought it was a bit funny because it was as if they were saying they like healthy/sound-bodied people, but I was thought it was amusing because they were trying not to be superficial but they didn't realize that "fine" is slang for "good looking" or "sexy."

That whole discussion on "types" was interesting too because the last boy (out of three in the grade) to answer the question came straight out and said he liked "cute" girls. Of course there was some ribbing about that to which he responded that the other guys' answers--"kind," "cheerful" &etc.--were "strange" (henna) and not really truthful.

1 comment:

Weewian said...

Why do Japanese kids always sound so cute?

The title of your blog reminds me of Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things.