“Ma’am, if dead, talk to Ma’am?”
I stared blankly at Do Hee, a fourth grade Korean girl, wondering what the heck she meant.
“No, dead people don’t talk to me.”
“No, no. If dead, talk to Ma’am?”
“You mean ghosts?”
“NO. If dead, talk to Ma’am?”
I looked at her again, even more befuddled. She pointed to a boy in front of her who was lying on the floor not moving. “If dead, talk to Ma’am?”
In a moment of epiphany, I looked at the fifteen fourth grade students and tried unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh. As my stern face gave way to laughter, all control I had gained up to that point was lost.
Friday is story day. Every Friday, I read to each of my four English classes. Sixth grade hears There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, fifth grade listens intently to Charlotte’s Web, and third and forth grade are enthralled by The Boxcar Children.
On this particular Friday, forth grade was having a hard time sitting still and listening to the adventures of Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. Every few sentences, I would be interrupted with a cry of “Ma’am, Andri do like this with her, I mean his feet.” Or, “Ma’am, Deigo is look.” In frustration, I found myself saying words that I had heard all through elementary, “Work it out between yourselves. If there is not blood or a broken bone, don’t tell me about it.”
Of course, they thought this was hilarious. Instantly, in some strange natural disaster striking only fourth grade students, all of them had broken bones. Miraculously, though, they all healed when I threatened to stop reading. That’s when Do Hee spoke up. She wanted to know if death was serious enough to interrupt reading. I assured her it was, then several kids dropped “dead.”
In other news, we are heading out to Singapore on Wednesday (Oct. 13). I have an appointment with my doctor there for an ultrasound/check-up. I’m really excited about going back since I can walk this time. We will leave on Wednesday and return on Monday.