Spicy Food is Good for You!

This photo is of Joe’s Burgers’ amazing chilli sauce which my family and I had for dinner tonight. Ya, ya, I know it kinda sucks, and I know there’s nothing worse than someone tweeting/blogging about the mundanity of their daily meals. This isn’t about that. I just wanted to tell a funny story.

At the end of the day today, I had about 3 minutes to kill with my students so I invited them to line up and challenge the Grand Master of Rock Paper Scissors.

They all queued up with great resolve. I surprised even myself when I discovered they could not beat me. One by one, I was whupping their rock-paper-scissor butts. It was so bizarre. The kids started looking at me as though I was a sentient being.

In fact, the truth was that I had discovered a pattern in their behaviour. Most of the time, a student would observe which kind of fist the previous player lost with, and predictably use the opposite. So, if I had defeated one kid with a rock over his scissors, the next kid would inevitably try me on for size with paper, to which I would respond with scissors.

Finally, after creaming about 9 kids in a row (I realize I am enjoying this a bit too much) I ‘allowed’ a student who I knew could use a confidence boost to beat me.

He was elated.

As the class roared with encouragement, I reassured them with feigned arrogance that it was likely only because this student enjoyed spicy food like me that he knew how to defeat ‘The Master’.

The kid turned to me with the face of someone who has seen a ghost and whispered, “It’s … true … I do love spicy food”.

In about a span of 10 seconds, I had convinced the whole class that the key to rock-paper-scissor strength was a passion for chilli peppers.

When one of my students pouted, begging me to explain how she had managed to lose to me when she was, in fact, a fan of the spicy stuff, I replied with my own question.

“What kind of spicy food do you eat?”

“I eat stuff like Doritos Spicy Nachos!”

“Not spicy enough,” I stated with the scornful face of Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. “You need to eat kimchi soup or fresh jalepenos!”

“You’re right, Mr. Lee,” she replied as though resigning to the alignment of stars in sky. “But tonight I’m going to go home and eat a tonne of wasabi peas. You’re going down tomorrow.”

You should know too that my students are in grade 5 and 6. They aren’t kindergarten kids. They watch R rated movies on a regular basis, text each other while doing it, and there isn’t a swear word in the book they don’t know intimately. But, for five minutes today, they totally suspended disbelief with me. In fact, that’s kind of what it’s like for me everyday. I love being their teacher because they love learning.

The reason I’m telling this story is because it was a pretty stressful day for this spicy food loving Literacy Teacher, planning for PD in the depths of teaching’s most wintery (figuratively and literally) season. This little moment with my students reminded me how awesome this job is after all.

[This blog post can also be viewed on my Project365: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r_o_y_a_n/4329192916/]

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