To Fall (and colour blind children)

Yep, that’s right, I call it “Fall” now. Another little part of my linguistic identity drifting forlornly to the ground amongst the leaves, but colour still has a ‘u’, for now.

But whatever you want (or are required) to call it, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is finally here, and I could not be happier about it. The air is cool and fresh, but it’s still sunny and acceptable for me to be wearing short sleeves. This is probably the most beautiful time of the year in Korea, and I am looking forward to getting out of the city in week or two when the leaves have all changed colour, to see how well I can capture some of that beauty with my camera.

While I’m waiting for Mother Nature to do her work, I decided to bring a bit of Fall into the classroom. I did some classes on “Fall colours” with the little ‘uns, and had some cool projects lined up for the next few weeks. One of them involved gathering leaves with them at the picnic we were due to have today, and then doing leaf rubbing collages and scrunching up the rest to glue to bare tree pictures, but the picnic was cancelled since  obviously the day we planned to have it turned out to be the first rainy day we’ve had for weeks. Grrr.

This saw me fretting anxiously last night about what I was going to do in the art classes that I’d thought weren’t going to happen today, and for which I had nothing prepared. It is also why, on the way home from French class, I suddenly began pouncing on fallen leaves like a cat chasing them in the wind. Lucy looked at me in amusement and told me I looked like ‘une SDF‘ (homeless person) foraging for supplies, but before long she, too, was scrabbling around in the gutter with me, triumphantly waving her finds. The passing Koreans gave us some rather intrigued and disturbed looks, but really, two foreigners crawling around picking stuff up off the street isn’t any stranger than some of the stuff I’ve seen them doing.

What was strange, though, was the fact that almost every single child in every single class today insisted that leaves turn blue in Fall. It was very confusing. I showed them pictures, we identified all the colours, and then I gave them little leaf pictures to colour and cut out before we did our leaf rubbings. And despite my repeated, increasingly bewildered “No, leaves are not blue!” responses, about half the children in each class determinedly went ahead and did blue leaves anyway. What is that about?! I mean, I could understand if they were just ignoring or not getting the “Fall colours” thing, and just using their favourite colours, but in that case there would have been a much wider variety. It wouldn’t just have been “Fall colours (and blue)”.

Sample tree...

...typical tree!

This is confusing me as much as the whole “Earth is Korea, Teacher is an alien” incident from last year. Possibly even more so. Children are so clever and so creative and so funny… and yet also, at times, so damn weird. I want to know what goes on in their heads.

Maybe they just see things we don’t…


One thought on “To Fall (and colour blind children)

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