I am breaking this blog post in two due to length.
I’ve recently been thinking a lot about love and hatred, and the humor needed to deal with both. My thinking has been prompted by two recent events, each of which pushed me to the brink of hilarity-induced hysteria but for wildly different reasons.
The first of these events was our recent mini-unit with our second-year class focused on idioms about love, dating and romance. I made up a twenty-slide powerpoint to display the usage of sayings such as “to whisper sweet nothings into (someone’s) ear” and “to play hard to get”. The sayings were illustrated by examples featuring the students themselves, with accompanying pictures culled from my archives. The result was classroom pandemonium in the best sense: uproarious laughter and embarrassment and a love-and-humor-based collective effervescence (to misuse Durkheim) pervaded the room to the extent that it was difficult to get the kids to sit down and actually write their own love stories. But when they did, the results were fantastic. To wit, the examples below, all about students in our classes:
- Recently, Joe is not normal, because everyday a gao san beautiful girl always found him, and when he came to the classroom his face red. Then, when I go to the WC, I was shocked. Joe was crying and he told her he loved her so much, but after ten days she is left and when he came back to the classroom his eyes became red and like potato. He was miserably, and he lose his fantastic glasses. (by Joe)
- “The Sadly Romance of Alex”, a long story which ended: “Alex was so sad, and he cry every day, his eye was swollen, his heart was broken. Poor Alex! I think you should find someone who like you very much and you also like her, that’s a match made in heaven! Unless I think you will go to blind date, if that, Tom will be very helpful for you, because he knows many beautiful girls in RG. (by Diana)
- When I come back to school on Sunday afternoon, Corey and his new girlfriend date on the bridge of RG. Corey gave a special necklace to his girlfriend and his GF immediately close cheek the Corey. Then, after, they are looking at each other for a few days. They went to a famous restaurant together and enjoy some delicious foods and meals. I hope they had a good time! (by Naomi)
- One day, when I went shopping I saw Xander and May. They went out together, and they are talk about having a new girlfriend. Then Xander pop the question. They are engaged this year. Xander and May break up. Also May is so sad. She is cry a long tie. Then Xander and his girlfriend are going steady. They are head over heels in love. (by Sophia)
- Many boyfriends and girlfriends had appointmented in Xining park, many Xining students and Huangnan students had appointmented in Xining park, too. For example, Joe is one of those students. One day, Joe and his girlfriend had gone to the Xining park, they had been on the rocks again, but now they had made up. Joe had taken some flowers to ask his girlfriend to returned back and stay with him. Joe had popped the question to his girlfriend. Then she had agreed with him…After all, I think this is a romantic thing. Also for Joe, I supposed he is busy and also pretty happy now! (anonymous)
- rdo rje and sgrol ma are Tibetans which live in my village, they fall in love with each other. One day, they dated at night. It is a very good time to date. In the sky, the moon is bright. They hand in hand and go on the bridge and say about love to each other. Isn’t it romantic? (by Zoey)
- One day, JOE have a crush on Amber, than JOE fell for with Amber. After that they were head over heels in love. That is so nice. They are play everyday. They are doubledate. After a few days, JOE saw Amber go out with other boy. JOE so angry. JOE asked Amber who is he? Amber say he is my new boyfriend. Then they break up. JOE so sad. Then he never find a new girlfriend. (by Jacob)
- Dylan and Kate wree classmates. They are good friends before. They are often with go home together. One day, Dylan asked the Kate, “Have you boyfriend? If you no boyfriend, can I date you?” She said nothing and she very shy. But she agree to his propose. They often go out with on te weekend. They a match made in heaven lover. But one day they are fight. Kate say “we are not a match made in heaven”. Then Dylan very sad, merely with Sophia have a blind date. Finally they are to made up, they are become a very happy lover. (anonymous)
- Last year, Alex and Stella met in our school. Since he met Stella in a corner of our school, Alex has been head over heels in love with Stella, but Stella hasn’t loved him anymore. Then Alex has a crush on to Stella, but Stella will not spare a glance for Alex, so Alex was lose control. Afterwards, Stella discovered who fall in love with, they started to concentrate on each other. Then Alex went out with Stella very often, so Alex prepared to get hitched with Stella, but Alex lived in Jianzha, Stella lived in Xunhua, thus they didn’t have a chance to meet. (by Kelly)
- More to come soon
These expressions of love lost and found were fantastic insights into the teenage Tibe$an brain, not to mention fantastic and – especially those coming from the shyer girl students – surprisingly salacious reads. It is spring, and, it seems, love is truly in the air; rumors and scandals and drama are born and die on a daily basis, hearts are broken and reformed and made whole and set aflutter, and I stand by, a spectator, watching and encouraging the divine (if exploratory and tentative) comedy with appreciative laughter. The administrators and other teachers enforce the school rules, making sure students don’t date or even find each other remotely interesting; I am here simply to encourage them to talk about their feelings and to discover who they truly are as people – through drama or scandal, through passion and dispassion, through humor and laughter and freshly awoken springtime love.