How To Be A Total As(thma)

, , , , , | Working | December 7, 2017

(I am five years old at this time. I have had trouble breathing, and so my mom takes me to the ER. Note that she is a nurse.)

Doctor #1: “What seems to be the problem?”

Mom: “She can’t breathe, and some of her symptoms are matching up to asthma.”

(The doctor examines me.)

Mom: “What is it?”

Doctor #1: “She’s fine. You can just take her home.”

Mom: “What? No! Look at her. Do you think she’s fine? I’m a nurse, and I can tell that this is asthma.”

Doctor #1: “Ma’am, I am part of the board of Asthma Awareness. She is fine.”

Mom: “No, she is not. If you will not listen to me, then I demand to see another doctor.”

Doctor #1: “Ugh. Fine.”

(My mom overhears this:)

Doctor #1: “[Doctor #2] We have one of THOSE moms in there. Just patiently listen to her and send her away.”

Doctor #2: *walks in and looks at me* “Oh my gosh! She needs to go to the ICU.”

(I went to the ICU. I made a full recovery, and my asthma was well controlled after I was diagnosed.)

Disneyland Is Really Swinging

, , , | Learning | December 4, 2017

(I work as an ESL teacher and am working on practicing “Where’s ____ going?” “He’s/She’s going to _____” with two nine-year-old girls. I’ve written down a bunch of locations numbered 1-20 and they have to roll the twenty-sided die to figure out the place, but they’re free to choose the character/person themselves. Lines in [brackets] are in Japanese.)

Girl #1: “Where’s… Mickey going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “He’s going to Disneyland.”

Girl #1: “[That’s pretty normal. He’s just going to work. Okay then, I’ll do…] Where’s Minnie going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall. [Aw, that’s mean, Mickey’s off working and she’s skipping off to go shopping.] Where’s Donald going?”

Girl #1: *roll* “He’s going to the shopping mall.”

Me: “[It’s an affair!]”

Girl #2: “[Minnie, how could you!]”

Girl #1: “[Mickey’s out working and you’re having an affair with Donald! Let’s see then…] Where’s Daisy going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall!”

Me: “[She found out!]”

Girl #2: “[Ooooh Minnie, you’re in trouble!]”

The Onsen Comes With Shark Repellent

, , , , , | Working | October 25, 2017

(My job in Japan is winding down. As part of the welcome package for my replacement, I have to sketch a floor plan of my apartment, so he’ll know what the company-provided living quarters are like. Because I’m a goofy sort, I start giving the various rooms and amenities over-the-top descriptions. One of my coworkers looks over my shoulder at my sketch.)

Coworker: “Umm, that’s wrong. ‘Onsen’ is the Japanese word for ‘hot spring,’ not ‘bathroom.’”

Me: “And my closet isn’t the entrance to the Batcave, either.”

(When my replacement showed up, he told me that he was looking forward to being the new Batman. Looks like the place was left in good hands!)

Some Mothers Wish They Were

, , , | Related | September 28, 2017

(I am teaching a pair of six-year-old twins, a boy and girl, when the topic of birthdays comes up. Talking with them and their mother…)

Me: “…and sometimes twins have birthdays on different days, months, or even years if they are born at midnight.”

Girl: “How can you have a baby at midnight? You are sleeping!”

Some Americans Are Friendlier Than Others

, , | Learning | August 20, 2017

(One of my students takes my lessons just so his English skills don’t deteriorate, so we mostly just tend to chat during the time. He lived in the US for several years, so his skill level is quite high, but occasionally some cultural aspects still slip by.)

Student: “I just think it’s so much more stiff and formal in Japan. I mean, Americans are just so friendly!”

Me: “Well, I think that depends on the person, but overall I probably agree with you.”

Student: “Everyone’s so open and welcoming! There are even ads on TV telling you to call them if it’s late at night and you want to chat to someone!”

(He didn’t realize those were phone sex lines.)

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