Tuesday, August 07, 2007

eggplant humor

So I found myself trying to describe an eggplant to my Level 1 students while we were all in my office working on Photoshop. This conversational tangent was occasioned by my having made Charles's pic of his eggplant lasagna my new background image. The girls couldn't figure out what vegetables were in Charles's lasagna.

"In the West," I said, "eggplants are usually fat, round, and dark purple-- like this box." I pointed to a cardboard box on my desk; it was about the size of one of JK Rowling's larger novels, and was dark purple (though admittedly not fat and round). "When you cut the eggplant open," I continued, "you see a color more or less like this--" and I pointed to one of the many eggplant cross sections now glistening on my monitor.

The girls still didn't get what I was talking about, and I was trying very hard not to resort to using the Korean word for "eggplant," which is gaji.

A colleague of mine (actually, she's from across campus, but she's a very nice lady and she teaches the Level Ones as well, so I suppose she's a colleague of sorts) was listening to this and she mentioned that Korean eggplants are longer and thinner. I reinforced this by drawing the respective shapes on a piece of paper.

For a moment, there was incomprehension, then one girl whispered, "Gaji." The other girls' faces brightened as they suddenly understood what I'd been going on about.

After class, as I thought back on the conversation, it occurred to me that most of these girls have had little to no experience with anything that's long and purple.


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