I've heard of toilet homour but not toilet curriculum.
Yesterdays grade four lesson was titled "Is this your cap?" One of the videos on the CD-ROM involved Julia and Mina, two of the recurring characters in the elementary texts, talking about their puppies. Julia was at Mina's house where she was introduced to Mina's new puppy. Unfortunately, when Julia was handed the dog it pissed on her shirt and both of the girls yelled "Oh no!!!"
My co-teacher (the one with the Masters Degree in EFL - English as a Foreign Language) then asked me to tell the class what happened in English. She said, and I quote, "Tell the class in English what piss means." I busted out laughing and quietly explained to here that "piss" is kinda vulgar and we should use "pee" instead. She was fine with this so I proceeded to teach the kids about how to talk about urination in English.
I was still finding it hard to keep from laughing as I explained this but I got through it.
Then my co-teacher asks me two explain "the other thing." I didn't know what she meant and she said a few things to the kids in Korean. Then she looked at me and said "Shit, explain shit." I'm giggling right now as I type this, but in class I was laughing so hard that I had to wipe away the tears.
Once again, I quietly told her that "shit" is not a word we should be teaching to grade four students because, once again, it is considered vulgar. Her eyes opened as wide as I'm sure an Asians eyes can open and she said "Really, its vulgar? Well what word do you use?" Still laughing, but no longer crying laughing, I told her a better word would be poop or poo. Either choice didn't seem appropriate but it was the best I could think of.
Excrement or feces just seemed too formal.
So I went on to explain to the kids everything I could tell them about poop and when I was finished, she asked me to go write the words on the board. Once again, a few tissues would have been really useful, not because I shit myself, but because tears were running from my eyes again.
So I wrote "poop" and "pee" on the board and the strange thing is that the kids didn't find any of this nearly as funny as I did. Maybe they are more comfortable than us Westerners when it comes to discussing bladder usage and bowel movements.
Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that they don't flush their toilet paper after they wipe. They just throw it a garbage can placed next to the toilet.
Seriously. Supposedly it has to do with poor plumbing.
One thing I can assure you though is that the plumbing in my building has not yet broken or busted, and you won't find one piece of shitty toilet in the garbage in my bathroom.
And you never will.
Now that I think of it, I'm going to remove the garbage can from my bathroom just in case one of my Korean friends ever comes over and has to take a "shit."
Yup, I'm doing that right now...