Nuggets of Pedagogy: White Day


White Day, for those of you not East-Asia-side, is a greeting card holiday invented by Japanese candy companies. There, Valentine’s was repurposed as a day where women would buy sweets and chocolate (or make them) for the men in their lives. White day, March 14th, was subsequently invented as a payback day, where men in turn give chocolates or candy to the ladies. It is also celebrated in Korea, because Korean candy companies also enjoy money, and were like, “Why are we not in on this racket?”

White Day

As I left school today, a cadre of 4th graders bolted to me, as they often do, to say hello, realize they have a small repertoire of English beyond “hello,” and then stand around idly grinning at me. We talked a little in Korean, and just as I turned to go, one of my former students spotted me from across the playground and made haste. He arrived, huffing and puffing up in my grille, and produced the above giant lollipop.

“I’m not a girl,” I casually mentioned, in both English and Korean, just in case it wasn’t clear. He shook his head, remarked that this was okay, and pushed the candy forward again. Never one to turn down free candy, I accepted, he bowed with an enormous grin, and scampered off into the distance, happy as could be.

In summary, I think I just agreed to go steady with a Korean 7th grader.

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10 thoughts on “Nuggets of Pedagogy: White Day

  1. Lucky you – the lollipop is still wrapped! I used to feel lucky when the usually unwrapped candy that came directly from a kid’s hand wasn’t half softened by their sweat 🙂

    • Oh, I remember the individually packaged everything quite vividly. Gosh, what waste! Still, my students – especially the little ones from elementary school – were so sweet as to share that one piece they had already unwrapped for themselves. But not before they took a bite first and went to the bathroom with it or chased a couple friends down the hall. Only then did they usually notice me and realized it’d be nice to treat me to a piece of that – at this point misshapen, molten, filthy piece of crap. It’s the thought that counts. I miss them. The kids. Not the candy.

      Plus, because I was raised never to refuse any food offering, eating my students’ random germy morsels ultimately strengthened my immune system that now can handle anything. I think.

      • Many of my kids are well-to-do, so they are usually drowning in fresh, unwrapped candy. They bestow upon me the stuff they are literally too full to eat.

        Teaching anything anywhere generally turns your immune system into something forged like cast-iron. I think I could probably live in a leper colony this point and come out fine.

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