Waldo is a little slow. He always has this half-smile half-confused grinnish look on his face. When I tell him to sit, he does, but he's facing the opposite direction. When I tell him to color, he puts his color pencil down and rips the paper. He's not mis-behaved, just missing something. I'm sure he will grow out of it soon, but until then, he delivers moments like these.


Waldo looked bewildered at his paper. The worksheet had a butterfly with no wings and the kids were supposed to connect the dots. You know, draw a line from the numbers 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, etc. Most of the kids, 3-year-olds, grabbed the concept fairly quickly. They drew in the wings and colored thereafter. But Waldo simply looked down. He was stumped.

I knelt down next to him to provide a little assistance. I pointed to 1, he nodded. I then said, "OK Waldo, where is two? Two Waldo? Two? Point at two?"

Waldo promptly lifted his right index finger to the sky and readied himself for the decision. The moment looked momentous for him. He paused like a dignitary during a speech, waiting for the crowd to calm it's applause before landing the final big point. And as he made a move with the finger, it happened.

He injected it into his nose, pulled a boogie out and showed me his prize. I told him kindly, "Close enough Waldo," and finished the butterfly for him.

...get Lost my friends.


The Field Trip

I remember those days. You could feel freedom energy flowing over the playground before the morning bell rang. You knew that today was going to be better than any other day of the month, or possibly year. You knew, even as a kindergartner, there was a chance for this day to change your life. You knew, there was a chance the bus ride was going to be the only good part, but that would be enough to enjoy the day.

A field trip my friends. A day of freedom...For the kids, that is.

On Monday, I went on my fourth field trip of my career as a kindergarten teacher. They generally include about 30 of the best behaved kids and it only lasts maybe four hours, travel time included. But on this particular day, we ("we" meaning me and 20 female Korean teachers) escorted 300-hundred 3, 4 and 5 year old's to a park. We left at 9:30 and got back at 4:45 in the afternoon.

The freedom energy was definitely flowing through these kids. At any given moment one would simply get up and make a run for it. From the outside, it would appear they are escaping. But most of the time they were simply chasing a pigeon, dog or plastic bag. When this happened, the token white guy, me, was asked to chase. I must have ran 30 50-yard sprints that day. Toward the end of the day, it became a game for the older kids. As much as I enjoyed running and playing (the first four times), I totally crashed around two. I kept telling the kids it was snack time so they would sit down and then I would lay on the grass next to them as they massaged my back. In Korean culture, if you ask for a massage, they start hitting you "firmly" on the back. It feels incredible when 8 kids are doing it one time.

On the bus ride back, my seat partner, 5-year-old Soo-jin, slept on my shoulder as we rode the bus home. I realized that is exactly how it should be. On field trip days kids need to feel that freedom but also need to feel that love only a teacher is a position to give.


Anyway, I made it a mission to take pics of the cutest kids at the school. I ran out of battery but I think I got enough here for you to get your fill. There are more on my Flickr page.

{Lining up outside the school before boarding the bus...Hectic.}

{She is asleep before we even leave the parking lot.}

{Little Rio. Absurdly cute.}

{So many tiny Korean people.}

{See the panic in my co-teacher's face? Haha, I like this pic.}

{His name is Doreen. I told him it was a girl's name but he refuses to change it. I admire that.}

{Aiden. Tiny body, huge head, really smart.}

{Rania, already looking like a 42-year-old Korean women.}




{Olivia, Helena and Leah. I like work because of these tiny people.}

{My life.}


{Diana, on the right, loves me. No questions asked, when I came into class, she just loved me.}

{Jamie. I love this girl for two reasons: she acts and looks like my good friend Jamie who works out here too, and whom I have known since sixth grade. But also, because she is rocking a nice snot hanger.}

{Jessica. Grumps.}

{Jun. Loves to repeat everything I say.}

{Don't know this kid but I know that haircut. It's called the, "oops! Oh well, he's only four" haircut...Man that kid behind him does not bearded teachers.}


{I named this girl myself. Mary...After my girlfriend Liz's little sister.}



{This is Soo-jin seconds before her head fell onto my shoulder.}

...get Lost my friends.