There has always been a fun yet meaningful story every time I teach. This one came from one of my Chinese-Indonesian students.
So, last Wednesday I taught this kid with his 5 other fellow friends at 6 p.m class. He is a ninth grader student studying in one of private schools in Bogor.
He has a tall body, 170-ish cms, his side-swept bangs hairstyle makes him look cooler than other students. His face seemed serious when the first time I saw and taught him. But after months I’ve been teaching, he is a ridiculously comical.
This class is one of my favorites. Not to mention the students are dominated by boys, they are sometimes mischievous, but are still cooperative in learning.
Long story short, last Tuesday was a Lunar New Year and when the following day I came to this class and met this kid, I asked what he did to celebrate CNY. He told me that he got some “angpao” from his relatives and instantly he grabbed his bag and gave me this red envelope with Chinese kanji or whatever it’s called on it.
Well, I didn’t expect him to give me one tho, but when he handed me this, I was so surprised. I then opened this red envelope and spontaneously laughed out loud to see what was inside it. He did it deliberately, tearing a piece of paper and wrote idr 50,000 with the “alay” words on it. He wrote “t4fy bohonk” meaning “but it’s a lie” with some misspelled letters (f instead of p, 4 instead of a, y instead of i, and k instead of g).
I really didn’t care what he wrote, I didn’t also think that he made fun of me, I thought it was a pleasure, soothing the busy day.
Then I asked what the Chinese kanji means, he said that it’s “Happy Wedding”. This class knew that I’m going to get married and I felt so moved when I heard it.
This class will end next week and I might be feeling melancolic to be seeing them graduated.
My job is indeed overwhelming, but seeing my students and observing their behaviors can sometimes be a moment I’d like to cherish.