"Mosquito Eyeball Spaghetti"

In my part-time hagwon job this week, in a stroke of English teaching genius, I’ve been having the kids invent their own restaurant. We started by brainstorming names for the restaurant (best name: “Mosquito Eyeball Spaghetti”), the we decided what we would serve (best dishes: “Jef’s Hair”, “Apple Juice with Eyeball”, and “Toys”), and finally we figured out how much we would charge for everything (“Jef’s Hair” = $ .10 per strand). I had them write down the whole menu on a piece of paper, and yesterday we improvised the restaurant — two people played customers, one person played the waiter, and they acted out (in English, of course) a dinner scene from the restaurant.

The improvisations were funny, if only because of the extent that the kids were willing to throw themselves into it. There was lots of complaining about the imaginary food (“This human meat is too hard! I told you soft!”), and another consistent theme of drunkenness (“I want one-thousand soju! Bwahahaha!”), and the waiters were usually angry and curt (customer: “I didn’t order any chicken.” waiter: “Be quiet! Eat it!”). After one customer kept complaining that the barbeque pork was too small, a student stepped in to the scene and said “I am barbeque pork.” I actually played a customer in one class, and I was surprised at how good these kids were at improvising — lots of “yes, and”, very little negation, and they always stayed in the scene. Strange that the rules we need to be re-taught are ones that are unspoken when we are younger — when do we forget how to pretend?

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