‘Teacher…the small ajosshi?’ – Quote Friday 02/15

The best of this week’s quotes from my elementary students in South Korea (and some thrown in from friends too)

First up, not a quote but funny none the less: This week there was a minor debate in Canada’s House of Commons when the subject of a zombie apocalypse was brought up. Hilarious, random and the reason why I’m glad I’m moving to Canada, they seem confident that IF a zombie apocalypse happens, it WON’T be in Canada.

Happy post-Valentine’s Day everyone! What did you do for Valentine’s? I went on a lady-date with My-Awesome-Book-Cover-Designer-Friend (MABCDF) and seven other girls while The Canadian One went on a man-date with MABCDF’s boyfriend. When I got home, however, I found this awaiting me:

photo (5) photo (7)

Meanwhile, one of the girls managed to sneak into the banquet and lasted all of five minutes inside before she was chased down to pay.

Her friend: ‘How did they know you didn’t pay?!’

Girl: ‘Oh please, look around, I‘m the only black girl in here!’


Being off Monday and Tuesday and ill on Wednesday, has left me with very few days in school this week..and thus, very few quotes.

Me: ‘Your test is on the 26th.’

Kid: ‘Jenny bye bye minus 2.’


Kid comes in with a strawberry the size of her hand and holds it out in front of me.

Kid: ‘Teacher! King strawberry!!’

She walked away, staring at her strawberry in her hand and then wandered back and handed it to me.

Kid: ‘For you.’

For reference: here’s the strawberry next to my mini stapler:

photo (8)


I don’t eat chocolate (migraines) and my last class of the day on a Monday and Thursday knows this. As such, they know they always get any candy or chocolate I get given throughout the day as I don’t bother taking it home.  Throughout all of Thursday, I had two random boys from my last class stand in my classroom doorway yelling at me.

Kid 1: ‘You are young and pretty.’



I’m writing on the board. A kid stares at me.

Kid: ‘Why so serious?’


Me, reading an answer: ‘Recommend.’

Kid: ‘Pardon?’

Me: ‘Recommend.’

Kid: ‘Pardon?’

Kid 2: ‘Recommend!’

Kid: ‘Really?’

Me: ‘Yes!’

Kid 2: ‘Do you have ears?!!’

30 mins later, I write ‘Final Test: 02/26’ on the board.

Me: ‘Ok, your final test..’

Same kid: ‘TODAY?!!’

Kid 2, pointing at the board: ‘DO YOU HAVE EYES?!!!’


Me, reading a book report: ‘It’s about a young man…’

Two kids in the front row, breaking into song: ‘YOUNG MAN!!!’


Me: ‘What’s the Ant and the Grasshopper about?’

Kid: ‘The ants are rich.’

Me: ‘No, they’re not!’

Kid: ‘No, yes rich. Have many food so they are rich. Grasshopper has no money and no food. He is not rich.’

Me: ‘You can’t write that.’

A minute passes.

Me: ‘What did you write?’

Kid: ‘The ants are rich.’ Pause while she looks at me. ‘They are.’


Me: ‘What are you writing about?’

Boy: ‘Snow Princess.’

Girl: ‘Snow White.’

Boy, to me: ‘Really?’

Me: ‘Yeah, it’s called Snow White.’

Boy: ‘Snow Princess is Snow White?’

Me: ‘Yeah.’


Boy: ‘And….Teacher…the small ajosshi?’

Me: ‘Dwarves. They’re called dwarves. Are you writing about one or two because it’s a different spelling?’

He stares at me like I’ve just told him the sky is green.

Boy: ‘SEVEN!’

Me: ‘Yes, no, I know. I just…nevermind. D-W-A…’

For reference, an ‘ajosshi‘ is the Korean word for an old man. For example:

Photo: Candiceecidnac via Flickr


UPDATE 22:42: An hour ago, my mother calls while The Canadian One and I are sitting around basically doing nothing.

Mam: ‘I’ve just been reading your thing. You quote thing and you know Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was spelt with DWARFS not DWARVES, right?’

Me: ‘No, that makes no sense.’ (to The Canadian One) ‘Mam says it’s dwarfs and not dwarves in the movie. Google that.’

He does. We all sit in silence and wait.

Him: ‘IT IS!!’

Mam: ‘I told you. I saw that and thought I have to ring her! She teaching the kids wrong!’

Me: ‘Not wrong. It’s the correct English!!’

Mam: ‘It’s wrong.’


My co-teacher: ‘What is it called when people vote for something? Erection..?’ Pause. ‘No, wait, I know that’s wrong!’


COMING SOON: The QUOTE FRIDAY book, the best of four years of quotes including some never before published ones. ‘Watch Out for the Hedgehog, on sale May 1st.

For more details and special offers, sign up to our Watch Out for the Hedgehog mailing list to stay up to date. 


For more Quote Fridays, check out:

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