Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why I shouldn't be around kids

Yesterday I had a lesson with my brilliant student Yoon-He. Yoon-He is a 10 year old Korean girl. She's one of the brightest people I have ever met. I really don't understand why her parents insist on having her going to private lessons, but in a way it doesn't matter because it means I can spend time with her. She's already fluent in English, Korean and Chinese, (her Chinese is so much better than mine that it is painful!) and she plays the piano and when she grows up she wants to be a professional translator for 'important business people'. Is it possible NOT to admire her?! If she had a fan club I'd be in it.

A small background to WHY I teach this girl:

On an ordinary day of studying at Starbucks in January this year I was approached by 2 Korean women who asked if I could teach their kids English. I pointed out that I am neither a native speaker, NOR teaching material (in fact, I am terrible with kids: they see me, they cry), but they really insisted so I said I would give it a go.

The first time I went to Yoon-Hee's home both her mom and dad were there. On the table was a pile of English books. Yoon Hee's dad first had a deep conversation with me, explaining (on very broken English) that his daughter needed help with listening/reading/pronunciation/writing/grammar... well, pretty much everything. I then met Yoon-Hee, a cute but quiet little girl who looked a bit scared.

In the beginning she barely said anything as she was so shy. After 2 lessons, however, we started getting along fine and she also started to talk. And once she started talking... she didn't stop.

Basically, Yoon-He didn't need any private lessons in English. She just needed someone to 'break the ice' with her to get her talking. Now she's moved up to the 'fastest group of English students' in her class and her parents think this is all because of me (they love me). We have already been out to Mc Donald's (Yoon-Hee's choice) to celebrate: me, Yoon-Hee, the mom and Yoon-Hee's 4 year old little sister. We had chicken nuggets and talked about what Yoon-Hee should eat to grow as tall as me. It was a blast.

I still go to their house once a week and me and Yoon-Hee talk about everything from the Olympic Games in Beijing (her favorite topic at the moment) to her three boyfriends. Yesterday, however, a new side to Yoon-Hee appeared.

I was telling her (on her request) about my summer holiday in Sweden.

-Did you see your mom?
-Was she happy?
-Did you go to Beijing to watch the Olympic Games?
-yes I did, it was a lot of fun!
-Did your mom go with you?
-No, I went with my boyfriend.
-Do you sleep with your boyfriend?
-I.... ehh... WHAT?
-Do you sleep with your boyfriend?
-Do I what?!
-Do you....
-No, no, I hear you... but you know, you can't ask me that?!
-Haha, so you do?
-Eh.... that's private!
-I think you do!

Oh my. I have a feeling her parents are not going to love me that much anymore when she tells them what we talked about during our last lesson.


Anonymous said...

first of all
hahahaha, kids are so adorable!

second, is her name Yoon-Hee or Yoon-He? I think it should be Yoon-Hee right?

thirdly, kids nowdays 'learn' about sex a lot earlier than anyone expect. If her parents are modern and progressive in their attitudes, they won't care too much. I don't think Yoon-Hee will talk to her parents about what you two said anyway...but then again, you never know

I wish I tutored smart kids like you are. When I was in uni tutoring, sometimes I just could not stand it. But I do need the money *sigH*

Rambler said...

Ha ha. You always talk about how direct Chinese can be when talking to you, but I never expected this. Would most people say something like that or do you think it was because she was just a kid trying to get a reaction out of you?

Vampire Rabbit said...

Oh wow! What a conundrum! She obviously is comfortable discussing such things, so I wonder if she has discussed such things with her parents before.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between sleeping together and having sex. Why you guys assume that 10 years old knows that's a sex?

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous might be on to something. Perhaps when asked if you sleep with your boyfriend you should have just replied, "Well I do have two pillows . . ."

Jonna Wibelius said...

Yeah maybe. She just had that cheeky look on her fact so I assumed she ment sex... although maybe that's just my mind that goes straight to thinking about sex when someone says sleeping with. Bad mind.

Bruce Lau said...

hi,I like your blog very much.I read it every day.thank you for your blog.

cryswag said...

HAHAHAA this is hilarious i was laughing my head off!! you have a great sense of humour!! keep it up :D