Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Inevitable

Well, the inevitable happened: I finally got a student named Poon.

I had been worried that I would have a student named Poon for some time now, not knowing whether I would be able to handle it with a straight face. Luckily, it wasn't a head-on attack-- "Hi, my name is POON"--but rather a slow dawning, a back-door realization.

I made a few of my students draw pictures on the board representing different personality traits. I had forgot to bring money to print out my attendance sheets, so I still hadn't received anyone's English name. As I went down the row of photos, I was asking the artists to give me their names so that they could get credit for their work. And so we had masterpieces by "Aom," "Bee," "Pai"--the usual crowd.

And then I got to personality trait "Kind and generous," by the colored-contacted girl in the front row. Her eye color may have been false, but the idea that her name wasn't schoolyard American slang for "vagina" was falser. I asked for her name and she spelled it for me: "P-O-N," I heard, and wrote it on the board.

"No, no, no," she said, needing de replay. "Double O."

I tentatively, with a crooked slit of a smile, added an O in between the P and N.

"Poon?" I managed to get out.

She nodded.

"Well, okay, thank you to all of our artists..."

I was trying to keep it together, looking at my shoes and certainly not at the Poon in front of me, as that would have been too, too much. I managed not to audibly laugh, but only inwardly-ironically celebrate that I finally, finally have a student named Poon. But now I am faced with the face of Poon in the front row twice a week, just waiting so earnestly for me to call her name from the attendance sheet. This semester will certainly be an adventure in Poon, I can promise you that.

Oh, and I still need to get the names of three more classes, so Lord knows how many more Poons are in my future.

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