Haphazard Hilarity: Quotes from the Classroom

Teachers everywhere will tell you that kids say the most adorable, hilarious and downright inappropriate things during class.

Now, add the language barrier to that and you have a bunch of miscreants, who, at any moment, could unleash an inappropriately hilarious sentence of such magnitude that would put the San Andreas fault to shame.

So, dearest readers I’m going to compile a list for you, of the funniest or most shocking things students have uttered in my classroom.

First up we have Larry (not his real name, obviously, he is Korean after all):

Me: So what did you do for the weekend?

Larry: Just…Played with myself

Now it’s of utmost importance to note that Larry was not telling me he spent the weekend with a bottle of lotion and some Kleenex, rather in Korea peole often use the phrase “play with” to mean spent time with or “hung out with”. So, what Larry meant was that he did nothing just stayed by himself.

This unusual usage of “play with” has led me into more than one misunderstanding let me tell you!

Next up, we have a bright young student aged 7 (or 6, I have a hard time deciphering the Korean age system which, conveniently, does not work on calendar years), who became rather tongue-tied during a phonics chant in one of our text books:

Anna: Dig, big!

Big, dig!

Dig, big!

Big, dick!

I know whoever it was wrote this book knew this was a danger to second language learners, and so I shall hold the writes of Let’s Go! 1 wholly responsible for my outburst of uproarious laughter upon hearing this time after time from the mouth of an oblivious 7 year old.

I shall spare you the litanies of “handsome teacher” I got for the first month, as I, all too slowly, came to realize many students would say this to avoid answering my questions, and I like a fool would blush and move onto the next question.

These bursts of humor come not only from students though. Yesterday in the bank an official who was helping me with my Visa card woes suddenly blurted out “Wow, your so white. Really!” and proceeded to hold his arm next to mine… And there was I beginning to think I had a tan.

Silly Emmet, you can’t tan, you’re ginger!

There are hundreds of things my kids say to make me smile throughout my day, some as simple an incorrect guess of the meaning of the word “flat” in relation to housing (apparently it means Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis, to my classes currently reading the short stories), to sentences so convoluted as to make no grammatical sense whatsoever.

However, there is one question I was asked just last week, that I shan’t ever forget. It came from Justin in my highest level class after some moments of apparent fixation at my bare forearm.

Justin: Emmet-teacher, is your fur yellow…everywhere??

Emmet: …My…what…fur?

Justin: Your fur [rubs my arm, which heretofore was rested on the desk] .

Emmet: Oh sweet Lord.


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