There is a tiny little person in my 4-year-old class that calls herself Leah. She wears ultra-magnified glasses that make her tiny eyes bulge with curiosity like the Korean version of the littlest "Who in Whoville." She is literally 2-foot-9 and constantly complains of a headache, a stomach-ache or any other word combo that ends in -ache to get a little extra help on her coloring worksheet.
Her kindness makes my day easier.
But she also makes my day slightly, well, uneasy.
You see, she pets.
I have many minor petting moments throughout the day. Yes, I know. Odd. But arm hair, it appears, rarely happens in Korea. As a result, the kids think I have fur...Like a pet teacher of sorts. I get tons of arms grazes or maybe a little pull followed by 4 kids running away giggling. They love it.
But Leah, she gets serious with her teacher-fur. For instance, when I sit in the mini-seat next to her to help spell the word 'because', she loses all interest in my explanation and starts petting. Full grooming motions like it's her daily visit to the pet store. Even after I get her attention back to the spelling issue, her tiny little fingers will slowly start to pet again and her eyes will slowly follow in the same direction.
She petted me on the very first day at school. Since then, a few full time petters have developed and the Korean teachers have to yell at them in Korean. But personally I am cool with it. If it means they will like me more, go for it. I mean, look at what the willingness to be petted has done for dogs. Right?
...get Lost my friends.