When one spends everyday at school with students who still don’t know how to ask to use the bathroom or employ the past tense of ‘go’, it is sometimes easy to forget that these kids are actually pretty smart. Today I was reminded of their intelligence, though, when they tried to tell me a joke and I was the reh-tard who couldn’t understand because I only know nine words in Korean.
First, they were trying to get me to agree that I know what “stwaaaws” is. I insisted that I do not, in fact, have any clue in the freakin world what “stwaaaws”, and so they reenacted a great battle scene with swords and head chopping. I thought, okay “stwaaaws” is “swords”. They were happy I had identified their miming as weapon-wielding, but then indicated that “stwaaaws” is a movie.
…Sword in the Stone???
I don’t know what finally gave it away after four more minutes of their desperate attempts to inform me, but someone must have muttered “Skywalker” or “Han Solo” or something, so I eventually hollered, “STAR WARS!!! YES I KNOW STAR WARS! YES! I AM AMERICAN DAMN IT,” and everyone was excited and I was relieved that the game was over.
But it wasn’t. There was another battle reenactment, this time with lightsabers, obviously, and mad lightsaber sound effects.
Girl Student: Chawwohhhhngngng!
Boy Student: Teacher! Chwwwwooongngngg!
Girl Student: Teacher, what color rightsaber?
Me: Err…um…green? And…red? And…blue? Maybe?
Them: No teacher!
defensive confident): Um, yeah-huh guys.
Them: No! Rightsaber oranchee! HAHAHA! Chwwoongngng Chwwoongng 주황!! 주황!! HAHAHA!
I stood there completely bewildered (what the hell is so hilarious?) while my coteacher laughed and asked, “Do you get it?” I scowled and waited for the explanation. (This conversation had been going on for like 9 minutes).
주황 is ‘orange’ in Korean. And it is also phonetically pronounced “choohwang”. Thus, “rightsabers are oranchee”.
Clever. Clever indeed.