Thursday, August 5, 2010

Origami and fistfights

One advantage of teaching little Asian kiddo’s English, is that you get to do the most amazing arts and crafts as part of your lesson planning. Ive always been a huge fan of Origami paper art, so you can imagine my absolute joy when I stumbled across a little book called “Yoko's Paper Cranes” by Rosemary Wells . It is the cutest little book that tells the story about a little kitten (can you handle that, I LOVE CATS) who folds her Japanese Cat grandma paper cranes as a birthday gift. It really is cute and worth a read ….even if you are a boring old grown-up, and don't like cats at all. I loved it. And, of course, it was the perfect excuse to learn to do some Origami. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I was very well aware of the fact that I was probably the only one that was going to learn anything from this lesson. I mean, these kids live in the middle of the orient and have been folding paper ever since their little fingers were able to do so. Still, the kids really enjoyed it and we probably folded about a 100 paper cranes in total. I also learned how to fold a paper cup, frog, table and swallow.

Little did I know that I lesson in paper art was not the only learning experience that was in store for me. We were threading our paper cranes into paper-crane-mobiles when it happened. How it started, I'm still not sure, but all of a sudden I had two little twelve year old boys punching one another in the face. I was so shocked, that for a few seconds I did nothing but stare. Then I burst out in tears. I have never seen anything so horrible in my life and realised afterwards that this was my first "live" fistfight. Sure, Ive seen fights on TV and movies but never "live" and never like this.

What really amazed me though, was that a black eye, bruised cheek and day later, these boys were the best of friends again. All was forgiven and forgotten and life went on. I couldn't help but to feel really ashamed of myself though, and my unwillingness to forgive those that have hurt me in the past. Sometimes teaching kids can be the most humbling experience because although I am supposed to be the teacher, these kids teach me so much on a daily basis how to fold paper cranes and forgive your foes.

This is what we made:

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