If I Won Happy Money, I’d Eat Peperos All Day
I had a lesson with my free talking class yesterday where I taught them the conditional phrase “If…would.” (Ex. “If I won the lottery, I would be very happy.”)
First, I had to explain what the lottery was.
“Lottery? Lotto?” I tried several combinations of this word. Utter fail. “Buy ticket, pick numbers. Win lots of money, hooray!” (throw arms in air)
“Ohhh,” they said. “Loto!”
“Yes,” I sighed. “Loto.”
“Happy money,” explained one boy.
Part of the lesson required the students to complete sentences. Here were some of the results:
“If I won the lottery, I would put an escalator in my home.”
“If I could live anywhere, I would live in the sun.”
“If I were thin, I would be very happy.”
This last one, said by a 6th grade girl who is not overweight in the slightest.
These epiphanies were followed by a ‘Would you rather’ session, where they had to choose between two undesirable situations.
“Would you rather have a handsome, dumb husband, or an ugly, smart one?”
The handsome, dumb husband received a unanimous vote. When I asked why, their answers were logical:
“If he was too smart, then I would feel less smart.”
“I can teach him to be smart, but I can’t make him handsome.”
I couldn’t fault their choice.
“Would you rather be extremely hairy or bald?”
This one split the class.
“Hairy. I can wear a sweater, no one knows.”
The students were also unsure about whether they’d rather have three arms or three legs. Rather than looking at this as a negative situation, they really saw the silver lining.
“Three arms. Can do many things.”
“No, three legs. Move very fast.”
They would also rather be the tallest man in the world, because “shortest man – face, not good.”
When given a choice between two Korean celebrities, all of the girls chose the same one. When I asked what was wrong with the loser, Kim Da-Som summed it up neatly.
“One is very powerful. One is very handsome. Handsome is better.”
I pity the unattractive, powerful men who may one day try to woo these girls.
* * * * *
Yesterday was also Peppero day. No, that’s not Korean for Veteran’s Day. It’s a holiday sponsored by Lotte, a company that makes a number of products, among them the peppero.
November 11th was chosen because the number 11 looks like 2 peppero sticks standing next to each other. Another example of Korean logic and ingenuity. Jared and I were inundated with various forms of peppero throughout the day – it’s amazing how many variations of chocolate pretzel sticks they can come up with.
The kids were also a bit hopped up on sugar, which explains the enthusiasm of my 1st grade class when I said the word ‘tiger’ in Korean and successfully wrote it on the board. All 28 of them broke out into spontaneous applause, and one small pigtailed girl leapt onto her chair.
“Teacher!” She shouted, flashing a double thumbs up. “Very good!”
I may not be able to wow the adults with my conversation skills, but I can stop traffic by asking a bunch of eight-year-olds to draw a tiger. That, my friends, is what they call progress.