Thursday, June 30, 2005

the bear

My wily tutoree Min-sung is getting older. He's slowly moving into that preteen zone that presages the beginning of Attitude and Rebellion. It's nothing bad yet, but I can see it coming as he tries, in ways both gross and subtle, to avoid doing whatever the task is at hand. Children are always testing boundaries, but the behavior gets more pronounced beyond age 10, I think.

Like most kids, Min-sung has reached a point where he is expending more effort at avoidance than in actually doing the work at hand. The result, as was true with the high schoolers to whom I taught French in America, is often hilarious. Today, for example, I mentioned the idea that bears won't kill you if they think you're dead (I have no clue whether this is really true, but Aesop says it is). Not interested in following my train of thought, Min-sung immediately shot back:

"But what if it's a friendly bear? He thinks you're dead, so he becomes sad, then digs a pit in the ground, throws you in, then buries you alive?"



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