Some of the most ordinary, simple things for me astound my students. For example, my kids are obsessed with the fact that my chewing gum is blue. When I was in America I can honestly say I never paid attention to the color of chewing gum. All the kevi (chewing gum) here is white though so chewing anything different is apparently really fascinating.
When my students first tried to ask me about my gum by pointing to their mouths and clanking their teeth together, I thought they were implying I had some grotesque amount of food stuck in my teeth.
“No, no! You eat kevi lurgi! Sad aris?” one child clarified. (What she was trying to say: where did you find blue gum?) I explained to them that I brought my gum from America and that is why it’s blue; in America we have gum in all sorts of colors.
Forget freedom, liberalism, and acceptance- my kids like America because food there comes in weird colors. They didn’t even believe me when I told them that we used to have blue ketchup once upon a time. (I should definitely not have told them that; the students still ask me if I can teach them how to grow blue tomatoes…)
I know it would make their day if I brought in a piece of blue gum for each of them but if I give each of the seventh graders a piece, then I’d have to give all of the eighth graders some and the cycle would never end. If you give a mouse a cookie, you’ll somehow end up having to give the school director a car.
I told my curious students that if they study English very hard, one day they will be able to go to America and buy blue gum. Kevi Amerikidan (gum from America) is the latest class motivator.
If President Mishiko (me and Saakashvili are on a nickname basis) promised blue gum to all the top English students in Georgia I’m fairly sure there would be a huge spike in studying.