My Grandmother is Fat
My Grandmother is Fat
One day I’m going to write a book titled, “My Grandmother is Fat and Other Stories From My Years in the Insane Asylum.” The picture above will be the front cover and the book will open with a story about its designer.
His name is Tae-in. He was among the first group of intensive preschool students I taught. He was a freak. There were several other freakish kids in that class. But he was the king. One day we were studying adjectives. We read a story about a girl and her family. “My mom is helpful,” said the girl. “My dad is strong,” she said. “My brother is smart.” “My grandmother is kind.”
We talked about the story a bit and brainstormed other descriptive words. The kids weren’t into it. They came up with nice, pretty, beautiful, and good.
I gave them blank papers. I told them to write a short sentence about one of their relatives and draw a picture of them. I wrote on the board, “My _____ is ______,” and wrote a long list of family names. I passed out the crayons and pencils. They went at it.
Five of the eight kids asked me how to spell kind. They begin diligently writing M-Y-G-R-A-N-D-M-O-T-H-E-R-I-S-K-I-N-D. They drew their grandmothers in puffy white dresses decorated with flowers and hearts. The women wore red bows in their hair, had full red lips, and were cooking.
Tae-in looked at the white sheet for a minute. He let out a dull, stabbing “Ha!” and asked, “How do you spell fat?” I wrote it on the board. “My grandmother is fat!” he shouted. I chuckled. “Really?” I asked. “Yeah!” he said.
He finished writing the sentence and looked up at me. “Good. Now draw a picture,” I told him. He looked back down at the paper and though. I continued around the table checking papers.
Tae-in showed me his picture. A rotund woman in a blue soccer uniform stood in front of a soccer goal with her arms outstretched. A soccer ball floated in midair to her right. She smiled widely and stared ahead. Here eyes were large perfect circles and totally empty white. She wore a gold medal on a red ribbon around her neck.
“Your Grandmother plays soccer?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Tae-in said.
“Fat people usually don’t play sports,” I said. “That’s why they are fat… And, if they do play, they usually aren’t good enough to win medals.”
“Ha!” Tae-in spat. “She is goalkeeper.”
“Good job.” I told him. “It’s a great picture.” I continued around the table.
Next time around, Tae-in pushed the picture up in the air toward me. “Here you are teacher,” he said.
“I can have it?” I asked.
“Thanks Tae-in,” I said happily.
Tae-in is the boy acting like a monkey in front.
Next I’ll tell the story of the time Byeung-yoon — the boy frowning on my right side in the picture above — stabbed Tae-in in the back of the neck with a pencil.