Today was the first day back to school after National Day. Yes, its a Saturday, but the Chinese believe in make up days, so this weekend I am working on Saturday and Sunday.
I had something funny happen to me this weekend. When you read the story, remember the girl does not believe the same things we do, and I don't agree with what she did, but it was funny!
We were doing a section in my Oral English class on body language. I decided it would be fun to do an exercise where a student is given a word and has to act it out. No speaking, just using body language. The other students have to guess what it is.
We did the words "love" and "sad." Things were going fine, and the students were having fun, when I called one girl up, and gave her the word "anger." She immediately stood up, and extended her middle finger….then sat down quickly.
The class, and myself, started laughing, more from shock than anything else. I told her that may have not been the best choice, but yes it did show anger!
During the break, she pulled me aside and asked me what that meant? She knew it was anger, but had no idea what the middle finger meant. As politely as I could, I told her and she was very embarrassed! It was a great lesson for me and her. For her, to realize that just because it happens in the movies, that does not make it okay. For me, a chance to explain what something meant and why it was rude.
Part of what I love about teaching is that it gives me a chance to make a difference in their lives, and to teach them more than just English--to teach them about life and culture and how NOT to express anger!