Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I've mentioned before how wonderful the secretary in our English cluster is. Today she was on a roll! This morning she sang a little love song to her tea. "Tea, tea, tea. I love tea."

It was classic! At the time I was standing right next to her, with my tea in hand as well. We weren't talking; it was still early in the day. I was pondering my next stunning instructional move (read: day dreaming) and she just busted out with her little ditty with no other audience than her tea cup and plastic spoon. Hilarious.

At the end of the day we usually pow wow. She gives me impromptu Arabic lessons, we talk world events, or just discuss weekend plans. Today, she was still in a silly mood and after a quick review of the classroom Arabic vocabulary words (desk, chair, chalkboard, etc) she taught me the other day, she started bouncing her way to the door like a giddy little girl.

I think the teacher who shares the classroom with me is having her class do a novel study of a book set during 1940s, so next to the door there's a poster with WWII facts and photos on it that a student made. In the top left corner was a biggish picture of Hitler, swastika fluttering in the background (Google image search is the Saudi student's best friend).

"Oh! What is this?" my dear friend said. "Hmm 'World War two.' What's this for?" She started mumbling the captions out loud under her breath.

"I dunno, that's not for my class."

She started bouncing on her toes a little bit. "Hey! Who's this?" she pointed to the top left corner. "Is that Hitler? Hi Hitler!" she said in a little voice with a giggle. At the same time she lifted her right arm straight out and gave Adolf a little wave.

She was just being silly, but with the arm motion and her accent, her cheery hello to Hitler was PRICELESS!

I doubled over in laughter. She joined in, but I don't think she really understood why it was so funny. She later told me that generally Saudi students only study Saudi and Islamic history in school. She hadn't learned anything about World War II until college. I knew once she was in on the joke she'd enjoy this moment as much as I was.

"No, it's funny because when the Nazi soldiers saluted Hitler, they would raise their arm straight out and said 'Heil Hitler,'" I explained.

She made the connection and joined me in laughing at her unintentional silliness.

Vicariously yours,

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