Of Chuck Norris and Pipe Cleaners

Student quotes of the day . . .

10th Grade Boy: “You really like Chuck Norris, don’t you?”

The students had finished a viewing activity where Partner A watched a video clip (without sound) and described what was happening to Partner B, who was facing away from the screen and had to write down what Partner A said.  This required them to use a lot of English, and I was happy with their level of engagement.

I was, however, perplexed by the student.  He seemed sincere, but does he really think that I sit around at home watching Walker Texas Ranger?

This echoed a student from a few weeks who said to me, “You really don’t like Justin Bieber, do you?”

Um, sorry kids, I don’t actually care about Chuck Norris or Justin Bieber.  But because you bring one of them up EVERY PERIOD, I mention them to show that I know what your interests are.  (Although sometimes I wish the students varied their jokes a little bit more, I always laugh when these guys work their way into the lesson.)

. . .

Student at the refugee camp: “I like you.  You’re nice.”

This melted my heart.  We were working on a flower craft that involved paper, pipe cleaners, and plastic straws.  The students also designed some bracelets with the pipe cleaners.  I loved, loved, loved pipe cleaners as a kid.  They are so soft and versatile.  Sitting at a table with girls from Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Somalia and watching them creating flowers, butterflies, and hearts with just a few art supplies was a pleasure.  Their experiences are radically different from my own, but it’s just a reminder that we as humans always have more in common than we think.

The same student asked how to write my name and made me a heart.  She made my day.

It got a little crumpled in my book bag, but I’m still proud of it.  The flower and the post-it notes are to cover up her name.

The past few weeks have been a bit tiring.  Because my immune system seems incapable of fighting off Hungarian viruses, I recently caught the flu that struck the primary school students and spent most of five days on the couch.  Luckily, Thursday is a Hungarian national holiday, and Jesse and I will be traveling!  We haven’t taken a trip yet this year.  Pictures of Budapest and Kosice, Slovakia will be forthcoming!


Filed under Hungary, Teaching, Volunteering

8 responses to “Of Chuck Norris and Pipe Cleaners

  1. Melody

    I love cute stories. =) But on a serious note, how can you not sit at home watching Walker Texas Ranger? Doesn’t everyone?

    • I actually haven’t watched much Walker Texas Ranger. I’m more of a Macgyver girl. FYI: you were in my dream this morning. I was supposed to hang out with you, but I was busy fighting off a mountain lion with Becky. I was trying to text you, and I couldn’t, and I was very frustrated.

  2. Wait, Melody was in the mountain lion dream too? Why on Earth were you trying to text her instead of focusing on sedating the mountain lion? We COULD HAVE DIED, Scarlett.

    By the way, the title of this post is great. I owe you an email soon. 🙂

  3. I had to chuckle at the last part, only because I feel incapable of fighting off viruses here, too! I had success earlier in the school year, but then recently had a cold for three weeks. That’s never happened to me before! It makes sense, and is a bit strange all at once.

    I cringe to discuss music with my students, only because my past attempts have centered around questions of my approval of Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, many rap artists I have never heard of, Hungarian pop singers, etc. i suppose I don’t cringe. The discussions don’t last long because the kids get frustrated when I tell them I don’t like or don’t listen to their beloved “artists.”

  4. Galev

    I learnt a new expression today: “pipe cleaner”. First I guessed it is that liquid you pour into the sink to clear away a blockage in the plumbing, I was adequately puzzled at the thought of using it as a decoration. 😀

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