Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's come to my attention

that this blog contains just a shamefully small amount of evidences to the extreme adorability of my students, which is criminal, because they do cute things All The Time.

As my own dear Homie commented recently, I have quite the doting students. It's true! Seldom does a class (or any interaction, for that matter) fail to begin with at least one girl exclaiming, "SisTAH! You look so beautiFUL!" You might think this would get old, but nope, it really doesn't. On the rare occasion I even receive the utterly unanticipated compliment: One of my writing students walked into class and told me I looked "beautiful, like the Buddha." I'll never forget my immediate feeling of bewilderment and 'aww shucks.'
It's not just me, either: these crazy kids will dote wherever they're allowed! I was grading monthly tests in my elementary English class, and in the section where they were asked to write a paragraph about themselves, every single student (I kid you not, 100%) wrote about how smart, funny, and/or beautiful their English teachers are. (It helps that Meata ~ my student intern co~teacher ~ is certainly one intelligent, awesome and gorgeous lady.) Here's a photo of Sopharey, one of the doters in Meata's class, all decked out for a dance performance.
Visal, one of my favorite students (not that I have favorites) noticed that I had checked the time on my (awesomely terrible garbage) cell phone telephone and asked for my phone number. I'd like to further illustrate this situation by adding that Visal is 9, which means he looks about 5 to an American, with floppy straight black hair and ENorMous brown eyes. While I recited the number to him, he concentrated so hard on copying it down I wouldn't have been surprised to see him sticking out his tongue. After he copied it down he scampered off so happily, you'd think we'd made plans for dinner and a movie. Visal occasionally comes up to me before or after class to recite my number back to me. And yet, he never texts, never calls . . . my poor heart. Here's a photo of the little ladykiller.
Veasna, another star student in the same class, was helping me give an example of creating a conversation beginning with a question using the word 'can.' It went a little something like this:
Veasna: Can you tell me the time please?
Ann Marie: It's about six thirty.
Veasna: How do you know? You're not wearing a watch!
Tricky little trickster.

Alright, whoever's being good enough to read up on my adventures, this is short because I've been trying to post for almost two weeks now and the internet's been awful around here and sometimes I just don't know how much to write over a given passage of time, so I'll certainly write not the proper amount. But I did post three cute anecdotes and two photos, and now I'm going to list at least two things that I've improved at since arriving in Cambodia:
1. My Khmer has improved! Nobody get excited, it's still Awful. But I'm also trying to learn Khmer script ~ which I'm unabashedly proud of, because it's crazily difficult. The point is I'm actually pretty bad at both speaking and writing in Khmer. But darn it if I won't give it a try!
2. De-boning a fish using only a spoon. I feel a lot more like a kitten than I typically do as a result of eating so much fish off the skeleton. No complaints there, it's pretty enjoyable to feel like a kitten. It's also worth mentioning here that Chansy has been providing me with some amazing meals. I have tempura fried mushrooms and eggplant slices, fish grilled with ginger, all sort of things that don't sound nearly as impressive when I write about them but even remembering them makes my stomach growl. Yum city.

Oh! More good news! It's sweet mango season in Cambodia, which is fantastic news for this lady. My students have continued to exploit my fondness for this fruit, and even if that means they're stealing from the trees on the compound, I'm not even going to try to stop them. As ever, I'm a slave to my love of fresh fruit. What can I say?

Alright, I'm going to read to children. You all have my long-distance love!

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