Okay. Tonight the dung story to top them all. I'll set the scene:
9:10 p.m. Thursday, in the last of three classes with the same three students. Everyone is feeling a little silly and restless, myself included. I'm writing some sentences on the white-board for the kids to pick out the nouns. Preoccupied, I don't notice one of the kids has snuck up to the board, and is doodling something with the spare marker.
I can already tell what it is from the perfectly symmetrical folds, to the stink lines wafting from the top, but I figure I might as well ask.
"Joseph... what are you drawing?"
Joseph smiles a big sloppy smile.
The other two convulse in laughter at the mention of this holy grail of Korean kid's humour.
Once the dung ship has sailed, there's no way of getting these kids back. The word association starts.
"Pig water doung!"
That proves to be the clincher, and I'm surprised these kid's stomachs don't rupture.
By this point I'm way too curious where their mind will go next, so I let the free drawing commence.
Dung beehive. Dung soft-serve icecream machine. The great dung jellyfish. I can't play stern teacher anymore and I crack up. I love the minds of children, because you have absolutely no idea where they'll go next. The white-board is covered in wavy stink lines.
At least dung is a noun.
A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.