The Shoes that Changed a Man’s Life


Blue, green, and white, they smiled at the world from the ground up. They were slammed, dragged, and kicked, and yet they continued to shine.

They tied and untied, they clicked and clacked.

And they spoke to people when they walked by.

“Hello,” they’d say. “We are happy shoes.” Then they’d laugh. “Don’t be shy, come say hello!”

Sometimes they were ignored, and sometimes people took notice.

“What character they have!” Delighted the listeners, and the shoes would redden at the praise.

But their most fulfilling day was one that was sunny and bright. They were waiting for the bus, alongside some subdued fellows.

And the man beside them, he listened, then he replied. “I had never before looked that closely at shoes until now” he said, “I didn’t realize what a difference they made.”

And through their stammering blush, the bright shoes beamed.

True story. Don’t be ashamed of being unique.

Skin tone

Today my 8 year old students were talking about skin tone.

I’m not quite sure what they were saying, since they were speaking in korean and the only English words they said were “skin tone”, but apparently it’s a subject of great interest to four of my 8-year-old male students.

It must be spring

My students were very adamant about finding out whether or not I have a boyfriend. They even drew a picture to make sure I understood their question. They don’t know the term ‘boyfriend’.

They are also (unintentionally?) asking if I’m into polyandry.

Teacher, is men, love?

Teacher, is men, love-love?

Belch and gullet

We went on our monthly field trip today, and it was actually quite a good one, with animated sneezing and burping exhibits.

Sometimes the field trips are weird, and the kids get super bored, but they had lots of fun here.

It was a ‘play museum’ that was modelled after the digestive system.

I think the favourite exhibit was the nose that sneezed out coloured balls.

The translations were odd, such as ‘belch’ and ‘gullet’… rather difficult words for 6 year old kids, but most of it was in Korean anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

There was a ballpit stomach, and it even talked about this:

I couldn't resist this photo

I couldn’t resist this photo

Then there was a bridge that led to the intestines. And what looked like pillow-shaped poo. It was probably coils of small intestines… but it really did look like poo…

Of course the kids found them hilarious.

Every kid wanted to do this

Every kid wanted to do this

Note that they are lying on ‘big intestines’.

They had fun, I had fun, and it was a great day.

How did they get away with this?

There’s this wall in my city that my friends and I have dubbed the ‘I love you’ wall.

Each country gets its own tile, with the phrase ‘I Love You’ written in their language.

It’s really neat, and I love reading them (when I can). I think it’s a beautiful theme for a wall.

And then I came across Australia’s tile…

Something's not quite right

Something’s not quite right

How did this even happen?

Actually, walls have eyes and feelings too

The walls inched away nervously as the dragon opened his mouth to yawn. They were well used to his habits now, and knew to expect the uncomfortably hot flames that cannoned from his mouth.

But that didn’t mean they had to like it.

In fact, from time to time, they got so fed up that they’d shake for a while in rage, throwing rocks and shifting angrily, trying to drive out the dragon.

Most of them bore telltale signs of abuse from the intruder. Sections had been partially melted, there were numerous unnatural grooves, and running stone had hardened partway down, looking rather like an unfortunate accident. How embarrassing.

The walls knew that it could have been worse. The dragon that had taken up residence within their tunnels was inconsiderate, of that there was no doubt, but he wasn’t cruel. When he raged, he generally did it upwards, and the walls weren’t particularly worried about the ceiling. It was much higher up, and was always grumbling anyway. It got boring listening to it complaining all day. When the dragon got angry, the walls bounced his roars upwards, and the ceiling got the worst of it.

Occasionally the ceiling would pelt stones at the dragon in vengeance and with no small amount of frustration, but it was all in vain. The giant lizard was not about to leave the crystals that seduced with flirty winks.

Really, dragons were such thieves.

The walls had created and guarded the treasure for so long, and then he came along and claimed it for his own. He fancied himself a fearsome guardian, but the walls knew better. Without them surrounding the crystals, the dragon would have a hard time keeping it for himself.

The walls were much wiser than the young, foolish dragon. They were always awake, always watching. They knew of the humans that got lost in their winding halls, doomed from the start in the sinuous caverns. The fools. Did they think they could win against age old stone? A rockfall here, a sudden cliff there, and they were no longer a threat.

The walls were there to stay. One day the dragon would grow old and die, leaving behind the treasure. But the walls would still be there, long after bones turned to dust.

And then humans invented dynamite. Boom!

Actually didn’t intend to write it from this point of view, but it just turned out this way. And it ended up amusing me too much to change it.

Crowded subways lead to awkward moments

Like when you’re staring up trying to see the TV monitor to read what station is next, and someone’s head is blocking the way.

You end up staring upwards, hoping he’ll move, since it’s too loud to hear the announcement.

Then he looks at you and thinks you’re staring at him.

And you still don’t know what station is next.