I was rushing out the front gate at the end of the day, trying to catch an early bus to Koreatown. Almost to safety I was spotted by a small gaggle of children across the grass.
“Good bye!” I waved, still striding towards the gate.
“Ego Sensei! Duckduckoose!” several kids yelling at once over each other, frantically making the “come here” gesture.
I stopped. A few weeks ago, I taught a small group the game “duck duck goose” during recess, and they had apparently enjoyed and remembered it. Which made me almost tear up. It’s a special moment when you get confirmation that you are noticed, and appreciated, and not just a novelty that comes into class spouting funny broken language and jarring hand signals. I’m also, to put it mildly, very easily suckered into something when I feel flattered. I turned around. I could catch the next bus.
“Duckduck goose! Just one!” I put my bag down by the concrete pillar and small hands grabbed me, pulling me like a current over to the grass. I sat in the circle while kids chased each other round and round. Within minutes, a much more exciting game of soccer was started nearby, and half the circle attrited to this exciting development. I got up, determined to make the next bus. “Goodbye!”
“Ego Sensei! Bi-guti! Bi uti!”
“What?? Wakari Masen!!” I called back, turning around again. 3 little kids were holding their arms in a heart shape. 2 others were rolling on the grass laughing. I couldn’t believe how much they liked me, even though I only taught at their school a few times a week. They appreciated me, and liked my teaching, and they were learning and enjoying English! And now they were telling me they loved me, making little heart shapes. My heart melted. this is why you travel. Moments like this.
Big booty! Sensei has big booty! Biiiiig Booty!”
yeah nope those were butt shapes. My big butt shape, apparently.
yeah those fuckers are getting a pop quiz next week.