I have an inside joke with my 2nd graders.
It started two weeks ago. We were talking, [I say talking like it was a conversation…it wasn’t] I was reading a book to them that had animals in it, (kids love animals, hell, I love animals, animal sounds, making animal faces…etc). And we started talking about [again, I use talking in the loosest way possible] horses and dogs.
In Thai horse is maaAAA (the tone goes up) and dog is MAAaaa (the tone goes down) simple, right? Try it. I’ll wait. But remember, MaMa is the Thai equivalent of America’s Cup ‘o’ Noodles—just to throw that into the mix!
……..have you ordered a cup or noodles yet?……….
Now imagine 30 little kids, yelling “maaAAAAAAA” [giggle] “MMAAaaaaa” [giggle fit] “No teacha, maaAAAAAAAAAAAA, no no no no.” There are four boys that are dead set on me getting it. Since this started I have these four boys coming up to me all times during the day yelling MAAaaaaaa, maaaAAAAA. Then they burst into a giggle fit when I try and imitate them. Teacha, he says pulling at my skirt, Teacha Saloaaan! MAAAaaaa as hard as I try I just can’t say horse and dog in Thai, correctly.
Days like today. Days where my students joke around with me make being here worth all the other struggles I’ve been going through. Breaking he language barrier with laughing and smiling and shouting MAAaaaaa maaAAAA over and over are the moments that as I sit here at my computer I smile. I break into a smile and my own giggle fit thinking about these four boys, about the entire class laughing at the same thing with me.