Turning Your Tears Into Wine

, | Learning | May 26, 2017

(I have just turned 70. We’re having a birthday celebration, and the kids have signed a card for me.)

Sixth-Grade Girl: “Happy birthday! You’re a whole year closer to meeting Jesus!”

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Mark The Letter As Red

, | Related | November 28, 2016

(I co-lead a youth group at a local Chinese church. Two graduates of the group have finished college and are getting married. We (group members and helping dad) take an evening to write them notes of congratulations. The next week:)

Dad: “Don’t send the notes yet! I have to re-write mine!”

Me: “Why?”

Dad: “I have to! Do you have another page I can use?”

(I give him another paper and watch him carefully copy his original letter.)

Dad: “Here! Whew!”

Me: “Um… why did you have to copy it over?”

Dad: “I wrote it in red pen! And in Chinese culture, writing a letter in red ink means you want to sever relationship!”

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Ho Boy…

, | Learning | July 27, 2015

(We’ve had some problems with the upper elementary kids’ language.)

Me: *to the youth group* “You are welcome to play that game, but you have to call it ‘Kings and Peasants.’ You may NOT call it ‘Pimps and Hos.'”

Child: “Okay… why?”

Me: “Do you know those words mean?”

Child: “Sure! Pimps are rich guys, and hoes work in the garden!”

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The Fail Vultures Are Circling

| Learning | June 1, 2014

(I am invigilating an exam for some teenagers I have been teaching in my youth organisation. Although it is an internal exam, we teach them to fill in the papers as they would for an external exam because they’re very strict.)

Me: “Remember, when selecting your answer, write a horizontal line through the box. No circles, no diagonal lines. Just one horizontal line.”

Student: “Wait, so we do circles around our answers, right?”

Me: *trying not to get annoyed* “No. A horizontal line, as I said earlier.”

Student: “Oh, okay.”

Me: “Right, any other questions?” *silence* “Okay, you may begin.”

(Five minutes later.)

Student: “S***! I’ve been doing circles…”

Me: *head-desk*

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Chip Off The Old Climbing Block

| Learning | July 18, 2013

(I’m an assistant leader at a youth group with kids aged six to eight. We’ve taken them to use a climbing wall, which is at the school I used to attend. One of the kids asks to use the toilet, and I offer to take her. I’m 22, and I left that school when I was 18.)

Kid: “How come you know where the toilets are?”

Me: “Because I went to school here.”

Kid: “Yeah, but how do you remember?”

Me: “It wasn’t that long ago!”

Kid: “But I thought you were old…”

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