A rainy, dreary day ... the sun keeps trying to poke its head out, but the clouds have repeatedly beaten its sunny ass and told it to get back inside if it knows what's good for it. A day better spent curled up reading with a cup of tea than slogging through the muddy "streets" of my village to get to the dar chebab.
I almost didn't go. But if I hadn't, I would have missed out on one of those little everyday moments that repeatedly remind me just how much fun this "youth development" gig can be.
Only two kids braved the rain to meet me, but they were my two best middle-school students. At 14, Brahim and Abdsamad know way more English than most high-school seniors (thanks, Fox Movies!). I helped them review body parts and clothing for an upcoming quiz at school. Most of the basics they could rattle off easily, so I challenged them with new vocab like "polo shirt" and "eyebrows" and "kneecap" (it's a cap for the knee, get it?)
Brahim drew a diagram of a person, labeling everything as we went. We played a little "Simon Says." I answered several random vocab questions, some pertaining to the body, some completely unrelated.
Brahim wrote the word "fanny" on his paper, then ≠ ~ the universal symbol for "not equal to."
Oh, dear. What are you trying to ask me, Brahim? And where on earth did you hear an old-fashioned word like "fanny"?
I debate whether I'm even gonna get into this, the naming of the backside, the bottom, the butt, the bum. Whatever you wanna call it, it can't be anything but hchuma to discuss it with a couple of adolescent boys. (And what's with the "≠" sign? Just how bad is this gonna get?)
They're perplexed by my reluctance.
"Like you are fanny," Brahim further explained. Not helping, Brahim.
"You are fanny, and I am not ~ what is opposite of fanny?" Abdsamad adds, striking a fiercely stern schoolteacher pose.
Aha. I'm slow to catch on. They don't want to talk about my fanny, they're trying to tell me I'm funny ~ and the word they're looking for is "serious."
In the end, just so they could truly appreciate how funny this was, I did in fact explain why I was so confused.
I haven't laughed that hard with 14-year-olds since the time Kelly and Shon stuffed me in a trash can in Mr. Wengert's 8th-grade math class.
(The boys also informed me that I have short eyelashes. So, there's that, too.)
* It's funny!
3 months ago