I have this one student, Sophia, who talks and talks and talks and talks and… you get the picture.
She is the closest to a native-speaking student I have ever had in Korea, I think, and she is quite verbal, too. She is in the 4th grade of elementary school, and has never studied abroad, so she is a bit of a prodigy – I'm sure I've mentioned her before.
She is also a bit "needy" and is constantly asking for things, wanting me to do things, needing my attention or time. I have a habit, with native-speaking kids, that I am hardly aware of, where I will say something that perhaps a lot of English-speaking parents or teachers say to kids. To these ongoing, persistent requests I will often respond, simply, "Later." If I listen to myself saying it, I hear my father's voice, clearly.
Today, Sophia came about 20 minutes early, before her class was scheduled to start. I was working in the staff-room.
She wanted to look at videos on my computer. I said, "Later."
She wanted to play a game on my phone. I said, "Later."
She wanted to "borrow" a board game from my drawer. I said, "Later, you have class soon."
"You always say 'later'," she whined. She has an amazing capacity to go from laughter to tears in less than 30 seconds.
"I'm a little bit busy," I said, by way of apology.
She made a kind of harrumph. She sat down in a chair near my desk and folded her arms, looking quite serious.
"What?" I asked, as she waited there with a grimmace.
"We need to discuss what 'later' means," she announced. Those were her words, exactly. I think she watches too many American TV shows, maybe.
[daily log: walking, 6 km]