We've been teaching illnesses recently in my afternoon class. They learned stomach ache, fever, cough, cold, and rash. The picture for the rash, however, was a bit deceiving, and confusing. The picture shows a child with red dots covering her face. I think they were demonstrating chickenpox but what it actually resembles is acne. We were talking about each of the illness, and as we came upon, "rash" one of the kids observantly said,
"Teacher you have a rash"
Shaking my head, slightly embarrassed, I explained that the red dots on my face were pimples, which are different from a rash. "Rashes itch, pimples are just red dots that you get when your older." I didn't even have that many, maybe two or three, but oh, are kids observant. Almost every time I have a new pimple, one of the children asks me about it. "Teacher, what's that?" they ask innocently, not knowing that they are rubbing salt into my wounded self-image.
It's summertime. In Korea, the tale tell signs of summer is the heat, which isn't anywhere near the heat index in Texas, the humidity, which is high, maybe even sometimes higher than San Antonio, and the insects. (I wrote two posts last year about those nefarious bugs, here and here) These insects, seeking refuge from the great outdoors, or maybe the many cruel Korean middle school children who try take them apart limp by limb, for some reason or another, choose to make their home in our bathroom. At first, we didn't understand why the kids would wiggling and shaking, doing the pee pee dance, were refusing to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, they would even have their pants down, as they came back into the classroom, whining. Once, a student in our afternoon class, who is normally quite garrulous, refused to not only answer a question but repeat anything I said. He then refused to answer, "what's wrong Edward?" We finally got out of him that his stomach hurt. Later, we found out, that his stomach hurt because he refused to go to the bathroom to poo, as he was afraid of the bugs.
Cindy, my co-teacher, is afraid of all bugs, even moths and butterflies, albeit massive bird sized moths and butterflies, but harmless critters never-the-less. So that makes me the designated bug catcher. I don't like to kill animals, unless it's likely to harm me. However, I've had difficulty catching spiders without killing them, as I'm always afraid they might escape and start crawling on me.
The kids have, out of necessity, have learned the word "bug," a word they use nearly everyday now, when its time to use the restroom. What I've found, even more cute however is when they tell me,
"Teacher, spiderman, bathroom!"