Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's weighing YOU down?

One of my students thinks he is a dinosaur. Really. Ask him to draw a self portrait and you'll get a detailed rendering of some prehistoric beast. Depending on the day, it's a triceratops, t-rex or that one dinosaur who runs really fast and freaks me the hell out in Jurassic park. He can move like a dinosaur, make noises like a dinosaur and claw his fellow kindergarteners with the agility of a dinosaur. Many a kid has come away from an attack howling like a monkey and yelling in broken english, "T J and dinosaur and hit and scratch and no!"
Last week, we went to the Korean Folk Village for our fieldtrip. When you are herding 5 year olds around a crowded tourist destination, it's pretty imperative that everyone move quickly and keep up with the teacher. Unfortunately, Dinosaur Boy was moving at an appropriately glacial pace throughout most of the trip. The day wore on. The sun got hotter. I got tired of dragging him through crowds of gaping, photo snapping US veterans while hollering to the other kids to slow down! SLOW DOWN! So I took DB (dinosaur boy) and another offender back to the bus a bit early, leaving my co-teacher with the other perfectly behaved children. We walked slowly but surely through the park and ended up on a bench just before the entrance to wait for the rest of the school to meet us for the bus ride home.

After a tiny bit of relaxation, DB wandered away and began to nonchalantly examine a tree a short distance from our bench. I was keeping an eye on him just in case he got a burst of uncharacteristic dinosaur energy and darted away like a veloceraptor on crack. What I saw amazed me. Quietly, while pretending to be enraptured by the tree, he dug into his sweat pant pocket and dropped a rock the size of new hampshire at the base of the tree. Then, looking up furitively and noticing that I was watching, he wandered around to the other side of the tree and rid himself of another massive rock. I stood up and went to confront him. Upon closer examination, I discovered that this wasn't the end of the collection. 10 more smaller rocks, a metal key chain, some sticks and a few stickers later, his pockets were finally empty of the 4o pounds this kid was packing around the folk village. NO WONDER he was moving slowly. And of course I was trying to contain my laughter while maintaining a hardline about why it is not a good idea to bring your dinosaur habitat WITH YOU back to school. But I failed. I mean, really, how can you keep a straight face when this guy is staring up at you in abject shame and asking if he can "just keep one????"




I would also just like to point out that someone taught my students the phrases, "I have no energy." and "I'm starving!" I've worked in fieldtrips before and know that these two things are a requisite refrain for any out of doors experience, but before I could blissfully ignore it when it was repeated over and over again in Korean. This time, I was very aware. So I made them act it out for the camera. Here is "I'm STARVING"

And "I have no energy."

I think my job here is done.


Marianne & Clayton said...

This week I have seen my two year old niece do an assortment of adorable things and even saw a brand new baby that my friends got to adopt. Yet these two pictures are hands down the winner. You need to keep detailed diaries so you can write a book.

lenalou said...

Those pictures are hysterical, especially the last one!!!