Literary Gems from My Little Darlings

May 19, 2009


For those who can’t read, its a diary from a student named Jenny, who wrote, “I almost died today, doing my homework.”

So I guess I don’t talk about my job much. It’s not like I don’t have stories. I have plenty of stories. I don’t work at a public school, I work at what you would call a “hagwon” or an after school private school. We give the kids English names, some bordering on the ridiculous, ie, “Boiled Tomato,” “Mayflower,” “Apple Queen,” etc. Recently Russell and I named a child after  Mr. Darius Filsuf (hey Darius!). I have refused to call a child Nightmare (Harry, who always asks, “Teacher, baby?” after I’ve had a particularly filling lunch), and opted to call him Nightclub instead.

Anyway, part of my job, besides doing an embarrassing song and dance, normally called, “teaching,”  in front of a class for 40 minutes at a time, is navigating the strange poetics of elementary age ESL students. Sometimes I make them draw me pictures of monsters for when I get depressed. There has been some great work lately, fit for literary criticism, I say. Most of it is in great opening lines, like “Today I woke up in watermelon,” “The spaceship was stopped so I kicked it,” but I just wanted to share this one in particular:

Today I am eat the dark.

The dark is yummy

and dark is Hot

tham my the dark is


than I am fired, eat the dark.

– Newton, age 8 (?), Devourer of Shadows.



  1. holy crap this is awesome! is he talking about chocolate? wtf?

  2. Hello there fellow Korean tumblrette! Are you going to be at the Seoul meetup? Let me know via E-mail!


  3. […] Literary Gems from My Little Darlings: May 19, 2009 – The joys of ESL […]

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