Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fool's Day

Today, April 1st, is, of course, April Fool's Day (just seeing how many commas I could fit into a really short sentence. Answer: 4).

In Korean that is man-u-cheol, or 만우절. My first class this morning reminded me that it was "Liar's Day" (their translation), so I decided on a whim to play a little prank. I told them that I was going to give them a test. The students who understood started to moan; the ones who didn't just stared at me. I repeated the assignment again, and told them that they would have to write a one-page essay in 10 minutes. Then they really started to moan and protest. "No tests!" (I had promised them on the first day of class that they wouldn't have any tests.) I told them that the principal requested it, and there was nothing I could do. I passed out blank pieces of paper. "Here is the topic..." I wrote "April Fool's!" on the board. A couple of kids chuckled. "I'm just joking!" I said. More started laughing. "No test!" I said, and the girls started high-fiving each other. It was really cute, and followed this same progression throughout the rest of my classes. Not as climactic as it would be with perfect communication skills, but it was fun to see the looks on their faces as my message dawned on them. Fun for me, anyway.

Just before 7th period (4:30) some 3rd grade students (high school seniors) came to get me. I had agreed to help them pull a prank on their Japanese teacher by taking over his classroom before he could arrive, and pretending that I was the teacher instead of him. The girls were all REALLY happy to see me - I only teach the 1st and 2nd graders, and the 3rd graders feel pretty left out - and they were all smiles and laughs. I asked them what we should talk about until the teacher arrived, and they said "your first love!" and started giggling. As I was talking I saw the Japanese teacher through the window - he looked really confused and started walking the other way. I shot the breeze with the class for another five or ten minutes - about meeting Lisa in Kenya - before the teacher came back with one of my English co-teachers. She was also really confused, and thought that the class was pulling a prank on ME. "Oh, they really got you," she said, smiling.


  1. I still don't understand what the whole prank thing was about. All the details about 1st grade, 3rd grade; Japanese / Korea / Kenya ? ? What? What are you talking about? And that comma thing, ridiculous, at best.

  2. I teach first and second graders. Third graders have class on the fourth floor, and the students have their own classrooms, with the teachers rotating between them. As 7th period started I pretended to teach the kids (by talking about meeting Lisa in Kenya)so that when the teacher of the Japanese language arrived he would think that his class was changed at the last minute without being told.

    Get it?

  3. What day was it yesterday? :-) :-) ;-)

    Sorry I didn't get to reply to your comment on actual April Fools day to redeem my prank comment.


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