Last weekend Jon and I ransacked our apartment for fourteen interesting items. Each of us took seven of these items to our respective English classes and asked seven groups of four students each to create sixty-second TV advertisements for these products. Jon has had great success with the gnome that Gristle gave me/us one day for reasons I can't remember now, and now here are my seven items:
- swim goggles
- pink waterproof money container from Chimelong water park
- yellow bike helmet
- dreidels (3)
- black baseball cap
- Jacob's ladder with anthropomorphic vegetable illustrations
- knife/spoon/fork (yes, a three-in-one)
The kids have produced some great stuff, including one boy holding up the knife/spoon/fork and announcing to the audience "I am a rapist," a girl covering her head in a jacket so as to resemble an old Jewish dreidel-fairy, and a boy proudly informing a girl that he can see her internal organs with his x-ray goggles (her response: "Wow, that's so magical!"). But the best moment came after the Jacob's ladder commercial:
One of the groups had just demonstrated that the Jacob's ladder could also function as a hand strengthener, but after their performance I asked one of the girls for clarification. "How can it strengthen your hand muscles?" I asked. She made a palm-up fondling motion with her hand and said "It's like balls."
Anyone who knows me personally knows that this is enough to send me into a crippling giggle fit in most situations. But I had a reputation as a teacher to uphold, and let's not forget that to my students a teacher is a 老师, a venerable "old master." So I bit my tongue and turned the smiling side of my face away, trying to change the subject, but it was too late. Another student spoke up, again making the same hefting-a-bunch-of-grapes motion:
"She means like old man balls!"
I lost it. I giggled myself silly like an an actor on a blooper reel for a full thirty seconds (at least). I laughed until I cried and had to take off my glasses, while the rest of the class (90% female, mind you) gradually realized what this poor girl had said and joined in the hahapalooza. Anyway, as a teacher, I never thought I'd have to tell a whole class of high school students to stop thinking about old people's genitalia, but there you go. Luckily this girl is one of the most extroverted students in all my classes, otherwise I'd be afraid she might never talk again. Please don't fire me, PiA.
P.S. she was talking about these, of course.