Saturday, October 09, 2004

“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.


Joy said...

Melody, this was the best possible way to begin my morning! I began laughing out loud, and when I reached the end, I scrolled up and re-read, laughing in anticipation.

I own, but have not read, McCullers' The Sad Cafe and Other Stories and have always heard the praise of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I'm currently 30 pages into about 12 books - a long series of one-night stands. I should probably give some of those books a phone call.

Anonymous said...

I loved the Box Car Children when my third grade teacher read it to me!

Myles said...

sadly, i've never read a word of the boxcar kids. maybe my kids will get them. and ultrasound...for the leg? or....

M. Lumpkin said...

You guessed it, for the leg. If it were in fact for a child we could have it done here. However for an Ultrasound Dopler Study (which I'm told measures the velocity of the sound waves bouncing back more precisely thus giving more information), you have to have equipment that is less common here (perhaps because blood clots inside veins deep within the body are much less common for Asians).

Viator said...

Pity that Coffee Landing, while welcoming and even fostering all manner of emotional states beyond the obvious melancholy, just isn't the sort of place where I feel at liberty to give the sort of uvula-dancing laugh this post deserved.

Thanks for this latest snapshot in your growing photo album!

And for the invite. Am I pondering what you're pondering? You bet, but with me and Pippi Longstocking, what would the children be like?