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‘They all already speak Canadian…’ – Quote Friday – 03/08

Remember last week when I said ‘this is the last Quote Friday ever, sob sob’, ‘I’ll never teach again, sob sob’, ‘I’m gonna miss Quote Friday so much, sob sob’…well, I lied.

Actually, wait, I didn’t lie. At the time, I was telling the truth. It was the last day of my contract. I was planning on sitting around unemployed for three weeks and then move to The Land of the Maple Leaf but alas, that didn’t happen. After three full days of unemployment, I found a job and went back to work. OK, I didn’t find a job, a job found me. I packed my little lunch bag and my foam die and headed back into the classroom.Now, you remember how I spent my last day of teaching…


…watching kids watch a movie. Well guess what, that’s exactly how I spent my first day back at teaching, watching kids watch a movie. There are some days I can’t believe I get paid for this. Seriously.

In unrelated news, I was looking at this picture the other day when The Canadian One exclaimed, “IT’S YOU!!!”


He also sent me this, claiming it’s also me.


Apparently I‘m the red brick.

I’m saying nothing.

Moving on.

During speaking test to determine level, all during a private test:

Me: “Do you like English?”

Kid, scrunches up her face: “Yes?”

Kid 2, shaking her head defiantly: “No. No I don’t.”

Kid 3 after a long pause: “Yes.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Kid 3: “Yes, I’m sure.”

Kid 4, eyeing me suspiciously: “No?”


During the speaking test, I had to point to three animals and the kids had to name them. There was a bird flying, a cat sitting and a rabbit sleeping.

Kid, pointing to each animal: “Bird. Cat. Sleeping!!!”


Kid comes into class while I’m setting up the movie.

Kid: “Hulk?”

Me: “I don’t have Hulk.”


Kid: “Naver.” – The Korean Google

Me: “No.”


Me, my first day in the school: “Do I get an attendance sheet?”

Co-Teacher: “No.”

Me: “Can you tell me how many are in each class?”

Co-Teacher: “No.”

Bare in mind, she’d been teaching these kids all year, and a Korean school year runs March-March.


After every Tom and Jerry cartoon, I put it to a vote what we watched next.

Me: “Hands up, Tom and Jerry.”

Kids put their hands up, if it’s a majority, we watch it, if not, we watch something else. Straight after the third episode, one little boy sees his shot.


Clever considering I’d only been teaching him for around 15 minutes at this point.


Regarding me leaving the bar ‘early’ at 2:30am to attend an 11am meeting the following morning: “WHO organizes a meeting at 11am on a Sunday for a group of Irish people?!!”

The response from my other friend is unpublishable.


I scream in the apartment, there was probably a spider.

Me: “I shouldn’t do that. The neighbors will hear.”

The Canadian One: “I could murder you and all your friends in this apartment and no one would come.”

He’s right. No one would come rescue me!


Guy: “What are you gonna do in Canada?”

Me: “I dunno.”

Guy: “Well, not teach English, right?”

Me: “No, they all already speak Canadian…No, English…They speak English.”


Me: “Please don’t tell The Canadian One I said that.”


Me, explaining my plan for unemployment: “Work on my book…and by work on my book, I mean play on Facebook.”


Me: “Ah, March, the month when every American claims to be Irish.”


Having worked out during a meeting earlier that there are roughly 20 shots in a bottle of Jameson:

Me: “That must mean there are 20 shots in a bottle of vodka too, so like 20 drinks…although probably not the way I drink it.”


Just to note, this is what The Canadian One and I bought on day one of unemployment:


Keeping things classy. It’s also worth noting that picture got more ‘likes’ on Facebook that possibly any other picture I’ve posted on my personal Facebook….o.O


Me, reading the list of volunteers: “Ou, I have a volunteer named Christopher Brown…I would imagine he likes to go by his full name at all times.”


Do you love Quote Friday? Sad to see it come to an end next week? Sob, sob. Well fear not!

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.

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

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‘KUNG FU PANTIES!’ – Quote Friday 01/11

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

With the kids all having mid-terms this week, they’ve all been disinterested in talking much in class other than:

Before the test: ‘WAIT! WAIT!!’ and ‘WHAT TEST?!!’


I’m smiling.

Kid: ‘Why happy?’

Me: ‘I’m just happy. I’m allowed to be happy.’

Kid: ‘No.’


Me: ‘Stop talking.’

Kid: ‘English?’

Me: ‘No, all talking. Stop all talking.’

Kid: ‘What about body language?’

Me: ‘No.’

Kid: ‘But body language is type of language.’

Me: ‘Shhhhhhhh!’


Little Boy: ‘I’m hard, tired and hungry.’

Me, mishearing him: ‘If you’re hot, take off your jacket.’

Little boy: ‘NO! I’m not hot. I’M HARD.’..o.O


The kids are writing a page about their favorite vacation.

Kid: ‘How you spell island?’

Me: ‘Island? Which island?’

Kid: ‘Your island.’

Me: ‘Oh, Ireland. You’ve never been to Ireland. Write about something you know.’


Kid: ‘How you spell island?’

Kid 2: ‘IRE-LAND. I? R?’

Me: ‘Yeah.’

Kid 2: ‘E? L-A-N-D.’

Me: ‘Nice! That was a good guess!’

The two kids run to the map on the wall to search for Ireland. They find it and Kid 1 puts his hands triumphantly in the air.

Kid 1: ‘WE’RE THE BIGGER!!! YAY!!!!’



No…I don’t know why he said that either.


Kid: ‘I go to Canada. I see the Canada famous food. I eat the Canada famous food. I step on maple leaves.’

Me: ‘Have you been to Canada?’

Kid: ‘No.’


During a test: Kid, to me: ‘What’s answer B?’


Kid: ‘No pencil!’

Me: ‘Anyone have a pencil to give Roy?’

All shake their heads.

Me: ‘I’ll give you a sticker if you give him a pencil.’

Five kids hold up pencils to give him.


For more Quote Fridays, check out:

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‘I am from Martian land’ Quote Friday 10/12

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

Me: ‘On Wednesday, you have your mid-term test.’

Kid: ‘No.’

Me: ‘That wasn’t a question.’

Kid: ‘Ohhh….no.’


We come to an article titled, The Blue Planet, in our book.

Me, reading the title: ‘The Blue Planet.’

Kid, interrupting: ‘I don’t like The Blue Planet.’

Me: ‘You don’t like The Blue Planet? Do you know what it is?’

Kid: ‘Yes. I go there when I was 5 years old.’

Me: ‘Ummm, no, no, The Blue Planet is Earth. We live here.’

Kid: ‘I know. I am from Martian land.’

And she was doing all this with such a straight face and I wasn’t sure if she was messing with me or not.


Was wearing my Angry Bear (The Canadian One’s band – Hwanan Gom in Korean) t-shirt to school. I turn to write something on the board. Grade one little girl: ‘Hwa…nan…Gom….Hwanan Gom!!!’ and then she bursts into laughter


I take my hair out of the ponytail to cover the Korean on my t-shirt.

Kid: ‘Teacher, it’s curly and messy hair.’

Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have taught them that!!


Entire class, chanting: ‘Angry Bear! Angry Bear!’

Kid, looking at the bear on my shirt: ‘He’s no angry. He’s sad.’


Girl 1: ‘Hwanan Gom!’

Girl 2: ‘ANGRY BIRD!!!’

Girl 1: ‘…no…’


Regarding my mother arranging a surprise trip for me:

Me: ‘I messaged everyone to tell them I was excited about going to the races!’


Me: ‘WTF? Why do I know?!’

Mam: ‘I told them we’re going SOMEWHERE. I also told them to keep it a secret.’

Me: ‘Aaahhh…I should message them back and explain then…I’ll go do that.’


This is why people should be glad I don’t get to vote…ever:

Me: ‘When do we find out who wins this election in America? Is it like the same day or is it weeks later like on The X Factor?’

The Canadian One: ‘The US election is NOT like The X Factor.’


I run the Korean chapter of a South African charity here in Korea. We put on a music festival in Seoul each December to coincide with World AIDS Day (Dec 1st). We’ve raised roughly $8,500 each year (at an event that lasts maybe 4-5 hours). As a result, I spend much of October and November being interviewed by various media outlets and while I do have my stock answers prepared for almost every question, this is one I was asked last week and what I said…and then what I almost said.

Interviewer: ‘What would you say to someone who is on the fence about attending or volunteering? Why should he/she attend or volunteer?’

Me: ‘It’s a great night out and Little Travellers is an awesome organization to volunteer for. Plus you meet some wonderful people. A lot of my friends are through Little Travellers. I met my boyfriend at a Rubber Seoul event when I was a volunteer. My friend met her boyfriend when she volunteered at our photo scavenger hunt! Another friend met his girlfriend at last year’s Rubber Seoul when they were both volunteers! We like to joke ‘Little Travellers brings people together’ but it really does! You get to meet these fantastic, like-minded people out to have a good time and help a great cause and who come from all walks of life and it’s just such an excellent opportunity to meet new people.’

It took everything in my power not to add:

‘Cos there’s nothing drunk people love more than cheap drinks, good music and a chance to hook up all in the name of charity. Oh and we also give out free condoms on the night.’

But it’s true.




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‘Teacher, STOP TALKING!’ – Quote Friday 09/28

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

Due to this week being Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving, we get the next five days off! Yay! Traditionally, gift sets of shampoo, Spam, beauty products, alcohol etc are given as gifts. The Canadian One gets a gift from his school every year.

Me, noticing we’re running out of cooking oil: ‘Do you think your school will give you oil this year?’

Him: ‘I dunno.’

The following day, he arrives home with this:

Free oil!! Yay!


Me, while doing a unit on ‘should get’: ‘What should I get my brother for his birthday?’

Kid: ‘A girlfriend.’


Two boys are slapping each other.

Me: ‘BOYS!!! What ARE you doing?’

They stop and gently slap hands.

Kid: ‘High five?’


Kid: ‘Teacher, STOP TALKING!’


Me: ‘What’s a mystery?’

Kid: ‘How to make a baby.’


Me: ‘Who made the pyramids?’

Kid: ‘Aliens. Aliens built pyramids.’


We can hear my co-teacher yelling loudly at her class next door.

Kid: ‘Sasha angry. BIG angry.’


For more Quote Friday’s, check out:

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‘Ah, do you live Gangnam Style?’ – Quote Friday 08/17

The best of this week’s quotes from my life in South Korea 

Around three weeks ago, I was informed that the English teaching program at my school would no longer be continuing and I would have to search for a new job. Now, searching for a job is fine. I’ve job hunted lots of times in my life. I’ve job hunted when I had a job just to see if there was anything better out there. I’ve job hunted in Ireland, in England, in various other European countries but nothing, nothing, compares to job hunting in Korea. Nothing.

What’s important here isn’t qualifications. It’s isn’t experience, references or personality. It’s are you pretty and are you white, and mostly, are you male?

Questions I’ve been asked by recruiters:

Recruiter: ‘Are you a vegetarian? It’s very important to the school that you’re not a vegetarian.’


Recruiter: ‘Are you religious? They like Christians.’


Recruiter: ‘Do you have lots of friends?’


Phone rings once. I pick it up. It cuts off.

I get a text: ‘Call me for interview.’

I head to the desk to get a pen and paper to call the number back and write down any information the caller gives me.

Phone rings again.

‘Hello. I message you. You get my message?’

Me: ‘Yes, just now. I….’

‘Do you have Kakao talk? I only talk on Kakao talk.’

Me: ‘Ummm, well, yes but I don’t use it. Can’t we just talk on the phone? Like we are now. On the phone.’

‘Why you no use Kakao talk?’

Me: ‘I usually just talk to people on the phone. We can’t do that?’

‘No, we will communicate by email.’

And then he hung up. He’s since emailed me three time, called me four times and text me twice. He’s been flagged on my phone as ‘Crazy Person’.


I turn up to a job interview at a ubiquitous looking glass building.

Recruiter: ‘This is the 3rd largest church in Korea.’

Me: ‘It’s…what?!’


Recruiter: ‘Oh, I see you are Irish. I have Irish friends. When I go drinking with them, I always wake up and think f**k!!…Do you drink?’


Me: ‘I would like a job in Seoul.’

‘I have a job in Suwon.’

Me: ‘Suwon is not in Seoul.’

‘Suwon is in Seoul.’

Me: ‘No, it’s not. It’s far from Seoul.’

‘Suwon IS in Seoul.’ (Note: Suwon is NOT in Seoul)

Me ‘No, it’s too far.’

‘You can get to Seoul easily by train or subway. It’s very quick. It’s in Seoul.’

‘It’s not in Seoul…I lived in Cheonan. I know where Suwon is!’


Her: ‘I will call you back.’


‘You have an apartment.’

Me: ‘Yes.’

‘You will move.’

Me: ‘No, I don’t want to. I want to stay in my apartment. It’s my apartment.’

‘You don’t want to move?’

Me: ‘No. I live in the apartment. I don’t want to move.’

‘Hmmmmm, but if you move you will be 2 minutes from school. Now you are 30 minutes.’

Me: ‘That’s ok.’

Loooooong pause like I’d just said the sky was green and it was about to rain kittens.


Trying to convince me to go to Cheonan, a 90 min journey south, to work.

Him: ‘Cheonan is not that far away.’

Me: ‘Yes it is. It’s a bus ride. A long bus ride. And I’d have to be with the kids 9 til 9.’

Him: ‘You will have Korean teacher.’

Me: ‘That’s not a help. It’s too far.’

Him: ‘It is short. Short bus journey. And then we will pick you up at the train station.’

Me: ‘I lived in Cheonan. I know where it is.’

Him: ‘You….you lived in Cheonan? Before?’

Me: ‘Yes, for two years.’


Him: ‘You don’t want to go to Cheonan?’

Me: ‘No, no I do not.’


And finally, asked during an interview when the interviewer noticed I live in Gangnam, an affluent area of Seoul’s elite (except I live in the part that’s not rich and elite and is full of meat restaurants and hookers):

‘Ah, do you live Gangnam style?!!’

Referring to this video, with it’s addictive beats and disco style, it’s been played constantly over here:

Now, while I don’t actually live ‘Gangnam-Style’, regular readers will notice the Duck Boats make an appearance in the video, as well as the merry-go-round from my Cherry Blossom Date.


This week, The Canadian One and I ventured to see Snowpatrol.

Mam: ‘I dunno why you like Snowpatrol.’

Me: ‘They’re Irish!’

Mam: ‘So is Jedward!!!’


Me: ‘I think I’ll have some peanut butter.’

The Canadian One: ‘We don’t have any peanut butter.’

Me: ‘I saw some in the fridge.’

The Canadian One: ‘Oh, that’s empty.’

Me: ‘Then why’s it in the fridge?’

The Canadian One: ‘To make the fridge look less empty.’


For more Quote Friday’s, check out:

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‘Give me your coffee’ – Quote Friday 07/20

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

It’s my birthday today!!

I just wanted to point that out before we begin.


Me: ‘You’re like a domesticated puppy.’

The Canadian One: ‘I’m like a half domesticated puppy that still pees on the floor sometimes.’

Me: ‘Can I put that on my blog?’

The Canadian One: ‘Not out of context!’

Context: I was sitting on the floor of the kitchen with a teapot cosy on my head while he was cleaning the top of the fridge.

No, I didn’t think the context would help either!

To be fair, after this happened, he said this about me:

The Canadian One: ‘I think of living with her the same way I do living with a puppy, one day I’m gonna come home and she will have broken something I really like.’

A mere seconds later I saved his life. Saved. His. Life. Who’s the puppy NOW?!

Moving on.


Kid: ‘Teacher, ummmm, tomorrow happy birthday…ummmm, do you like pencil?’

Birthday Cupcakes (neither made by nor eaten by me!)

Me: ‘Yes! I love pencils!’

Kid: ‘And sticker?’

Me: ‘Yes, I love stickers.’

Kid: ‘Teacher, you Korean yes?’

Me: ‘No.’

Kid: ‘Ummmmm, happy birthday card korean me…you no?’

Me: ‘Korean teacher can tell me.’

Kid: ‘OK!!’

She runs away smiling.


Describing a picture:

Kid: ‘He is scared because his bride’s face is ugly.’

Kid 2: ‘She is sad because she doesn’t love bridegroom.’


Kid points to candy on my desk.

Kid 1: ‘Candy!’

Me: ‘The candy is for grade six.’

Kid: ‘I’m great! Kitty’s great!!’ (pointing at her friend)

Me: ‘No no, GRADE six. Not great.’

Kid: ‘Kevin is grade six!’ (pointing at another boy sitting behind her)

Kevin looks up at me.

Kevin: ‘Yes, teacher, give me your coffee.’


A kid has no pencil.

Me: ‘If someone gives him a pencil, I’ll give you a sticker.’

Kid, being mean to all the other students: ‘No, no, I have a pencil.’


Someone hits my door during a lesson. I open the door to find kids scattering and one boy standing, staring at me like a deer in headlights.

Me: ‘Who hit my door?!’

Kid: ‘I don’t know…I don’t know…’

I stare at him.

Kid: ‘I don’t know…’

Me: ‘Come here.’

Kid: ‘It was Tony!!’


Kid talking to me randomly about food.

Kid: ‘Oh teacher, I see, the jungle man say eat this and the people eat and then bleeeeeh…’

Me: ‘What did they eat?’

Kid: ‘Thin white ants and iguanas.’

Me: ‘Ewwww…’


Me: ‘It’s big and brown. It has a big head and four legs.’

Two kids put their hands up.

Kid 1: ‘It’s a bear!!!’



Kid: ‘Oh teacher, do you know sweater?’

Me: ‘What?’

Kid: ‘Sweater?’

I look at her, skeptically.

Kid: ‘Sweater? No? Wait…’ (to the kid next to her) ‘…Sweater? Sweater?’

Kid 2: ‘No, Twitter!’

Kid: ‘Ohhh, do you know Twitter?’


Me: ‘What country do you live in?’

Kid: ‘Japan!’

Me: ‘NO!! This is Korea!!’

Kid next to her, pointing at her: ‘Japan spy!!!’


Me: ‘What do you not want to be?’

Little Boy: ‘I don’t want to be a mom!’


Me, trying to get a kid to move to a different desk and pointing at am empty desk: ‘Move it!’

Kid, looking at me quizzically: ‘Movie? We watching movie?’

Me: ‘No! Move it!’


Kid: ‘Move it…? I like to move it move it?’

Me: ‘Come sit here!’

Kid, gathering his stuff: ‘I like to move it move it! I like to move it move it!’


Me: ‘Your final text will be in three weeks.’

Kid: ‘What?! Test last week!!!’

Me: ‘I know, it makes no sense to me either but it’s on the schedule so…we’re having a test.’


Submitted by Michael Holman:

When talking about good/bad habits:

Me: ‘What’s a bad habit you have?’

Girl1: ‘What is ‘habit’?’

Me: ‘Something you do every day.’

Girl1: ‘I have a bad habit of hating my baby brother.’

Girl2: ‘Me TOO!!’

At least she decided it was a ‘bad’ habit.


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‘I am McGyver!!’ – Quote Friday 07/13

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

Random Compliment of the Week:

While at an art show, Girl to me: ‘You’re pretty, can you go pretend to look at art and she can take your picture?’

Random Blog Compliment (?) of the Week (just before surpassing 20,000 views in 4 months!):

Guy: ‘You know, I thought when you posted it on Facebook you were just reposting a blog that was much more popular than something you would write. I didn’t know you wrote it.’

What the WHAT? of the Week

The Canadian One teaches kindergarten to 6 year olds.

TCO: ‘Hey, my kids had show and tell today and they all brought in something to show and one kid brought in something in a Victoria’s Secret bag!’

Me: ‘…WHAT?!’

TCO: ‘Yeah! I’ll take a picture tomorrow.’

And he did:

Really?!! of the Week:

Guy, regarding his favorite pick-up line: ‘Let me touch your ovary.’

Followed by

Same Guy: ‘On a scale of 17-49, how annoying am I?’


Quote Friiiiiday! : Best Kids’ Quotes of the Week

A kid breaks and then quickly fixes a toy in class.

Kid, hands in the air triumphantly: ‘I am McGyver!!!’


A kid is playing with a crocodile toy. He’s pinning it to his ear.

Me: ‘Don’t do that, you’ll hurt yourself!’

Kid: “But it’s MY ear!!’


Me: ‘As you know, your test is on Thursday.’

Kid: ‘Oh the stress!!’


During the test:

Kid: ‘Teacher, give me a pencil and eraser.’

Kid next to him: ‘Teacher, give me money….and your house. Give me your house.’


Kid 1: ‘Teacher, how do spell crocodile?’

Me: ‘C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-E.’

Kid 2: ‘SLOWLY!!!!!’

Kid 1: ‘C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-E!!’


To a kid who was late for class:

Me: ‘Why are you late?’

Kid: ‘My friend was dancing.’


To three kids late for class:

Me: ‘Why are you late?’

Kid 1: ‘I was at home and I walk.’

Kid 2: ‘I was at library.’

Kid 3: ‘I was waiting for my brother.’

I look at them.

Me: ‘And how did you all find each other and arrive here together?’

All three: ‘Ummmmm….’

Kid 1: ‘We come together….(smiling)….I have homework!’


My grade two student and I have communication issues.

Kid: ‘Zebra spelling?’

Me: ‘Zed-A-B-R-A.’

Kid looks at me for a moment.

Kid: ‘Zed? Like Zee? Same?’

Me: ‘Yes.’


Kid: How do you spell crab?’

Me: ‘Crab?’

Kid: ‘No, crab.’

Me: ‘Crab?’ (doing an impression of a crab)

Kid: “NO, CRAB!!!’

Me: ‘Crab???’

Kid 2 looks over at Kid 1’s book.

Kid 2: ‘Giraffe.’

Kid 1: ‘Oh, yes, giraffe. How do you spell giraffe?’

5 minutes later:

Same kid: ‘How do you spell crab?’

Me: ‘Crab?’ (doing the same impression of a crab)

Kid: ‘Yes.’


Kid looks at her test: ‘All lines writing?’

Me: ‘Yes, of course.’

Kid: “But it’s very hard!’

Me: ‘No, it’s not!’

Kid: ‘It’s very hard!! We are Korean!!’


Kid: ‘Test is unit 1 and 2?’

Me: ‘No, units 1 to 6.’

Kid: ‘SHIT!!!’ (grabs her book)


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‘He said I am sweet potato!’ – Quote Friday 06/29

Quote Friday: A round-up of the best quotes from my elementary school kids in South Korea this week!

Some school-related news: this week marks Open Class being upon us…today in fact…in T-60 minutes. For those who don’t know, Open Class is where all of my classes I teach across two days are combined into just 5 classes via time not level…where’s the logic, really?!!…and then the parents and other teachers from the school get to come in, watch the classes, take notes and grade me on how well I do…yep….so that’s happening today. Due to this, Quote Friday is being posted now, as oppose to later as the plan for today is 1) Do Open Classes, 2) Do Not Freak Out, 3) Go home, get changed, get The Canadian One to buy me dinner and copious amounts of alcohol….4) Wake Up Saturday Afternoon.

And so I present: Quote Friday!

I get the sneaky suspicion my kids are getting tired of my reminders that Open Class is almost upon us.

Me: ‘Ok, so on Friday it’s Open Class.’

Kid: “WE KNOW!’


Giving warnings about Open Class, pointing to the three naughtiest boys in my class:

Me: ‘You, you and you…’

Kid: ‘Shut up?’


Me: ‘Well, yes be quiet.’


Me: ‘What must we remember for tomorrow?’

Kid: ‘Speak in medium voice.’


Talking to my Grade Twos:

Me: ‘Ok I’m going to take your books…’

Kid: ‘You take my book??!!!’

Me: ‘And give it back to you tomorrow.’

Kid: ‘Why?!!!’

Me: ‘Because I think you will forget your book.’

Kid: ‘No. I remember.’

Me: ‘Ok. You won’t forget?’

Kid: ‘No.’

Me: ‘You’re sure?’

Kid: ‘Yes.’

Me: ‘Ok but if you forget your book I’ll minus you three stickers.’


Kid: ‘You can have my book.’


A kid walks into class, eyes the newly decorated back wall of the classroom and looks at me.

Kid: ‘For mommy and daddy?’


Me: ‘For Open Class, you will work in pairs. There will be 15 students…’

Kid: ’15 people? One people solo?’


Me: ‘Write down a problem and two solutions.’

Kid: ‘I don’t have money. I really want money. Let’s call my mom.’


Me, telling a kid off: ‘You know if you say what what what it’s very bad, it’s not very nice.’


Kid, eyeing me suspiciously: ‘But…teacher just say…’


Me: ‘I said…’

Kid: ‘You sad?!!!’

Me: ‘What?’

Kid: “Why teacher sad?!!’

Me: ‘What?!’

Kid: ‘Teacher say, I sad.’

Me: ‘I SAID…not SAD…I’m not sad, I’m fine.’


Kid: ‘In fall, I go hiking.’

Kid next to her: ‘Ouuuuu leaves!’


Kid: ‘Teacher, look I make!! At school! It’s a Christmas card.’

Me: ‘It’s June!!’

Kid: ‘I know. At Christmas I give to mommy!’


Regarding Open Class:

Kid: ‘Mommy and daddy books?’

Me: ‘No, mommy and daddy don’t get books.’

Kid: ‘Mommy and daddy stickers?’

Me: ‘No, mommy and daddy are watching the class not doing the class.’

Kid: ‘No stickers?’


Me, describing a spider from the book: ‘It has big, black eyes. It is small. It has fur. It is cute…’



Regarding a ‘hamster’ flashcard I’d just given him:

Me: ‘Where’s your flashcard?’

Kid: ‘I don’t know.’

Me: ‘Give me the flashcard!’

The kid takes the flashcard out of his desk and holds it up.

Kid: ‘But I want. I can have?’

Me: ‘No, you cannot.’

Kid: ‘But it’s so cute!’


I come back from the bathroom and the giant TV mounted on the wall is shaking.

Me: ‘Why is the TV shaking?!’

Kid: ‘It’s happy! It’s happy so it shake!’

She’d run into it accidentally but still, good answer.


A kid yells an answer at me.

Me: ‘Why are you yelling at me, I’m right beside you?!’

Kid repeats answer, whispering.


Kid: ‘Teacher, smell my pencil.’

Holds out pencil.

Me: ‘Um, no.’


Kid, looking at my coffee: ‘Is it like medicine?’


I hold up a picture of a hippo.

Me: “What is it?’

Kid: ‘People…no…wait…no…’


From a written task: ‘This is my mom. She’s in the dad.’


I hold up a picture of a whale.

Me: ‘What is it?’

Entire class: ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’

One kid: ‘Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale. Whallllllllllllllle. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale.’


From a written task, describing her friend: ‘She likes brutal.’

Me: ‘She likes brutal? What?’

Kid mimes killing and stabbing.

Me: ‘Oh, violence….v-i-o-l-e-n-c-e.’


Kid: ‘Teacher, Friday, Open Class, I don’t come.’

Me: ‘What?! Why not?! You have to come. I need an even amount of students!’

Kid: ‘I am the only boy.’

Me: “You’re the only boy everyday, that’s not a valid excuse!’


Me: ‘What can you do in Winter?’

Kid: ‘Ohhhh ummmmm teacher….ummmm….it….snow….and ummm….ohhhhhhh play……….snow……..SNOW SURVIVOR!!!’
Kid 2: (looking at her friend) ‘Snowfight.’
Kid: ‘My school teacher called me…um….고구마….It’s potato’s brother.’
Me: ‘고구마 is a sweet potato. Your school teacher called you a sweet potato?!’
Kid: ‘He said I am sweet potato!’
Me: ‘Why?’
Kid: ‘I DON’T KNOW!!’

By the time third period rolls round, I usually have an iced latte in the class and all the students know the unspoken (and occasionally very spoken) rule of DON’T TOUCH TEACHER’S COFFEE…which also encompasses Don’t knock over Teacher’s coffee and Do not drop anything into Teacher’s coffee.

This rule especially comes into play when we’re playing ball games in class or the kids are running about.

On Wednesday, a kid wrote on the board and on her way back to her desk, bumped into the desk with my coffee on it. The kid was fine.

Me: ‘Be careful of the coffee.’

Her Friend: ‘TEACHER….(pointing at her friend but looking at me sternly)…Are you ok?!!’

Me: ‘Sorry, yes, are you ok?’

Kid: ‘Yes.’

Me: ‘Good. Be careful of the coffee.’


 Find more Quote Friday’s here:

And many more in the Index and on The Wall!

comedy entertainment funny humor kids Korea South Korea

‘Why do you have tadpoles in my class?’ – New Quotes Added

This week marked many things in our semester at school. Firstly, Tuesday was Teacher’s Day, a day when teachers all over the country get random, useless presents (if you’re me) or random, slightly more useful presents (if you’re The Canadian One).

Before Tuesday, I’d always thought Dean & Deluca was a made-up coffee shop in a J.J. Abrams show

I got plastic single flowers, 5 single chocolates, a small blown-up balloon, a pen, a bunch of Mother’s Day flowers (!) and a Burt Bees lip balm set (the most useful gift). The Canadian One, at his far more preppy, expensive kindergarten school, got fancy coffee, fancy horrible tea, some men’s vitamins, Keihl’s face cream, an assortment of tiny bathroom products and another box of fancy, haven’t-tasted-yet-so-can’t-judge-flavor tea. Now, The Canadian One usually gets some expensive shopping vouchers too but his school have put a stop to that and all vouchers received must be returned. God dammit! Last year he got $200 for E-Mart and we ate like kings!! LIKE KINGS!! And I got a fancy, shiny new pot. But alas, no shiny new kitchen appliances this year. Although I did recently buy a Tefal frying pan with a little spot that turns red when it’s ready to use and I frikkin’ love it. By contrast, The Canadian One bought a guitar. Now, my pan was on sale and cost $20. His guitar cost $1,200.

The day he bought the guitar:

Me: ‘Do you like the guitar?’

Him: ‘You know how you felt the day we bought the frying pan and you were all excited to use it? That’s how I feel about the guitar!!’

For anyone who cares, his guitar is the furthest on the right…the black one. The other two are for sale to recoup the costs of the new one. Anyone in Seoul lookin’ to buy a guitar, I shall direct you to The Canadian One cos we ain’t leaving Korea with 7 (YES, SEVEN!) guitars!

This week has also marked my student’s two days of final tests (eventhough we’ve not finished the books and have two and a half week’s left of the semester…do not get me started on the illogical thinking going on behind that one). As such, with a busy week and very little talking time done, my Friday Quotes are short n sweet.

Oh and for anyone who read Tuesday’s post, The Canadian One has made $10 for the Canadian Diabetes Association so far. I’m laughing already!

So, onto the quotes:

This section, I shall title: My Mother and Skype

Mam (on Skype): ‘Goodbye!! I don’t know why I’m waving, I don’t have video on, you can’t see me!’

My brother did the same thing.

Brother: ‘Eh, I’m waving but you can’t see me….can you? The webcam is not here.’


When I first arrived back in Korea, I was placed in a hotel until my apartment was ready. I had downloaded Skype onto the hotel computer which had sound but no microphone. When I phoned mam, she would talk and I would type responses. Several minutes passed and she started typing responses.

Me: (typing) ‘I CAN HEAR YOU TYPING!!!’

Mam: (speaking) ‘Oh yeah!!!’

This happened twice!


Mam: ‘Is that a basin in the background? And Pledge (a cleaning product)? And sponges? Ah, dreams of cleaning….you’ve not gotten very far!’

Frikkin’ video calling.


Mam: ‘Hello? Are you still there?’

Me: ‘Yes…why?’

Mam: ‘Oh, I was worried when I closed the laptop you’d be gone…but you’re not.’


Mam: ‘I’m starting a blog. It’s called The Thousand Island Blog. You’re The Ketchup War. I’ll be Thousand Island. I though about being Mayonnaise but Thousand Island sounds better. You’re writing about me, I’m going to write about YOU!’

So do please look out for that, if she’s writing down stuff I say, it’ll be muuuuuch funnier than what she says, trust me!


From a written test:

Q: In your class, who is similar to you?

A: Amy because she has a lot of action and I’m too.


Me: ‘Ok, on Thursday we have our test.’

Kid: ‘A speaking test?’

Me: ‘No.’

Kid: ‘But it’s a speaking book!! WHAT THE HELL?!’


Me: ‘Do you know the United Kingdom?’

Kid: ‘Yes, it’s the same as Lego Kingdom.’

Me: ‘Not exactly.’

Kid 2: ‘Oh, a king and queen!! And a wall.’


In the middle of a test, regarding a question about writing a sentence about his friend:

Kid 1: (whispering) ‘Teacher, um, question, this…my friend?’

Me: ‘Yes.’


Kid 1: ‘Teacher, Calvin, spelling?’


Me: ‘Ok, where am I from?’

Kid 1: ‘Canada.’

Me: ‘No!’

Kid 2: ‘England!’

Kid 3: ‘Ireland!’

Me: ‘Yes!! Ok, now where is Ireland?’

Kid 1: ‘Asia!’

Me: ‘This is Asia!’

Kid 2: ‘North America!!!’

Me: ‘North America??!!’

Kid 3: ‘Europe!!!’ (puts his head on the desk!)


Kid during test: ‘I’m hungry.’

I was eating candy at my desk so I toss her a piece of candy. Kid behind her sees this happen.

Kid 2: ‘WHAT? Wait, why candy?!!’


Me: ‘What’s a baby frog called?’

Kid: ‘A snake!’


Me: ‘What’s an animal doctor called?’

Kid: ‘A vacation…no….wait….’


Kid: ‘Lara and I are best friends.’

Lara: ‘What??!’

Kid: ‘What are you saying??!!’


And finally, my students bring random pets to school. I’ve had a rabbit, a hamster (in a coat pocket), turtles (in a lunch box), a baby chicken (who screamed so loudly during class I had to put him in the Teacher’s Room) and another hamster who attended class three weeks in a row…and then died but not in my class, I must stress.

Recently, I had tadpoles in my Grade 2 class. A LOT of tadpoles.

Me: ‘Why do you have tadpoles in my class?’

Kid: ‘The science teacher give.’

Me: ‘What will you do with them?’

Kid: ‘Give to mommy.’

Me: ‘Where did the science teacher get them?’

Kid 2: ‘The mountain.’

Me: ‘Why are there two floating on top?’

Kid 2: ‘One baby frog eat two baby frogs.’

Me: ‘Ewwww.’

Kid 2: ‘We give egg so no eat baby frogs.’


Me: “Can I take a picture?’

Kid 3 (who doesn’t own any tadpoles): ‘Yes.’

and she hands me the bottle containing all the tadpoles.

Confiscated tadpoles on my desk
Tadpoles by the window between the scissor box and the crayons

And today, one kid brought back in her tadpoles….one had turned into a very small frog. Yep, just a typical day at work for me!