Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Travelogue #6: Scary Stories for Korean Halloween

<---Travelogue #5: Let the Leaves Crunch Under Your Feet
--->Travelogue #7: Say My Name, Say My Name!

October 31 2007

Koreans are not crazy about Halloween.

The kids know "trick or treat" and the whole theme of candy, but the celebration is benign. On my walk to work, I do not spot any women dressed as sexy teachers or Catholic schoolgirls. But that's okay. I bring Halloween into my classroom, or more accurately, my kids bring Halloween to me.

Scary stories. That's what I'm talking about. Since I'm still getting a feel for the writing and speaking levels for my classes, I figure it'd be a decent idea to have them write a scary story involving our class. Anything can happen, I say in the prompt. Anything. "It can be scary, weird, or just silly."

Some of the kids struggle, but others really run with it. Three twelve-year old boys join forces to write a story that flatters me and mildly disturbs me.

"Mr. Pollack" is what they call it.

Its uncensored text follows:

"Today we saw Mr. Pollack. He is human-being. We got shock because he is handsome. He has high nose, big eyes. Especially. He is very tall. He is perfect person. We got shock because he didn't look like a human. He has face of god. (Editor's note: uh...) In men, he is very handsome. (Editor's note: uncomfortable...)

The day is go, finally it became halloween. We say "trick or treat." Then Mr. Pollack give to us most cheap and yuk candy. We eat it. Finally we go to hospital one month."

I read this story. I smile. I laugh. But I want more. "What happens next?" I ask the guys. "Do you die in the hospital? What happens?"

They go ooh and ahh and they put their heads back towards the desks.

"Mr. Pollack come to the hospital and he force to eat yuk, cheap candy.
So we die."

I ask them is that it. Or...does something...happen...with ghosts...

Ooh! Ahh! Their pencils start scribbling.

"We become ghost and killed him."

So this pattern continues. Back and forth we go. This is fun.

Here is their new, final ending:

"he fell in the hell.
he pulled us so we fell in the hell
We were in fire."

Rearrange those words a bit and you got postmodern poetry fit for some San Francisco literary journal. Let's give it up for our little Korean geniuses.

<---Travelogue #5: Let the Leaves Crunch Under Your Feet
--->Travelogue #7: Say My Name, Say My Name!


Jes said...

That's a fairly brilliant story, actually.

Note to self: don't eat the yuk candy!

Anonymous said...

I really like that you encouraged the kids to continue their story to its spooky conclusion. Mr. Pollack is indeed a handsome, resourceful teacher and obviously the kids admire him. Valentine's Day should be interesting. HA!


Steph said...

That story just might be Lullwater worthy- you should send it in to Acree, see what our comittee back at Emory has to say about it.