Lost in Translation

Funny story of how things can get lost in translation. One morning:

Co-teacher: Hello Alex, today we are going to end each class 5 minutes early so we can disinfect the school.

Alex: Oo ok.

[A whole day later at 4:00pm, she walks into my office which is separated from the rest of the teachers, a floor up]

Co-teacher: Hello Alex, I want to show you some paperwork work…lalala here sign this, look at this. Ok see you later.

Alex:Hmm let me work for a few more mintues.

[20 minutes later]

Alex: Ok time to go home. Open my little office door into bigger English Zone classroom. Lalala…waaaaiiit a minute. Umm why is there white smoke coming from under the door???

[Naive foreigner opens door, and cant see a thing. The hallway that was once there is covered in a wall of white smoke. That smells like poisonous printer ink fumes]

Alex: [closes door immediately] What the heck!?!?!

[Runs to window, opens it, sticks head out to breathe and notices the innocent children outside playing with a ball]

Alex: ::tear:: Will they notice if I start climbing out window?

[begins to devise a plan to climb out the third story and make it out alive]

Alex: Well ….20 minutes have passed…and I can kinda see the hallway. So let’s do this!

[Grabs a small bag that had that morning’s muffin, uses it to breathe into. Runs out, chokes on smoke as it becomes difficult to lock the door]

[5 minutes later, outside]

Alex: I’m alive!! ::cough cough::

Random teacher: Bye Alex! 😀

Alex: …..Bye! [smiles weakly]


[Next day]

Alex: Good morning Co-teacher, hey so……in American lingo, what happened yesterday can be best described as FUMIGATION. Disinfection does not really get the message across.

Co-teacher: Oh really? I picked the first word from the translation dictionary online. Ok I will remember that word for next time. I’m sorry.

Could have been helpful:

Or maybe miming “choking to death”


Teaching out of the Ordinary

A moment captured

Our paparazzi

Teaching the HS boys was a challenging but welcoming surprise.

My favorite smiling boy that captures my heart

We were not there for that long. Five days. Just five days to try and communicate with such a different population of students. I’ve worked with inner city youth and this was the extreme opposite. I was so hesitant about the experience to begin with, being told that we are absolutely not to touch the boys because of my gender. Talk about pressure and everything I’ve ever known being thrown out the window. As a non official teacher in City Year, I reaped the benefits of hugging my students and just the act of physical touch to show them that I cared about their well being and who they were. I never realized how much I cherished kids until I did that job. And it also amazed me that kids could actually really like me. Haha surprised right?

These kids? I fell in love with one of those little boys. He must have been 8ish and had the most contagious smile and laugh. It was in his laughter and relaxed manner of being just a child that I felt comfortable teaching a room of monks. I wanted to keep him lol and I even felt my heart soften when I thought and wondered how often he was able to see his own mother.

The experience was a unique pleasure, seeing so many be comfortable with us even if we were women and what servant’s heart they had as they brought us coffee and cake with a kind humbleness. Though at times words were not enough, smiles were.