Thanks to the ogre

Since my visa and steady employment seem to have run off together, I have started to look for more innovative ways to support myself while in Lima. The most practical way to do this is by teaching English in private classes. Since I began planning my move to Lima, Alvaro has been telling me that I should try to do this. Not only is there an unlimited supply of students, but they come with an unlimited supply of income. Works for me.

I found my first student by accident. Last Saturday at the church Christmas bazaar I was introduced to a young woman from Seoul, Korea, who upon hearing that I am an English teacher exclaimed, “Ah, you can be my teacher!” Just like that, I found my first student.

Today was our second meeting and I had planned for us to read an article from an English magazine. I purchased the recent edition of TIME and chose the article entitled “Shrek: Mr. Influential” due to its relatively entertaining subject matter, especially when compared to the articles regarding the 2000 election blunder, War in Iraq and Napster. If you haven’t read it, please do so, it’s an interesting analysis of why Shrek was so successful and how it generated an entire new genre of animated films. Here’s where class became interesting.
    “Fashioned by an army of writers, directors and animators under Katzenberg’s acute eye, Shrek took the serious animated musical and farted in its general direction. As Mel Brooks’ The Producers (another 2001 smash hit) reminded Broadway that there’s nothing so buoyant as a musical comedy, Shrek showed the movie industry that ‘animated feature’ is just a fussy phrase for ‘cartoon.’”

I imagine that you can guess exactly which word from the above quotation Maria had a question about. Yep, you guessed it: farted. There I was, sitting in a Starbucks in Lima, Peru, trying to explain the verb to fart to my new Korean friend. Unfortunately, in this situation I couldn't provide her with the Korean equivalent and just move on, but rather, I had to explain to her through several awkwardly formed sentences, just exactly what farting was. My explanation went something like this:

“Um, well, it’s when. Hmph. Sometimes when you eat something that isn’t good for you, it makes you not feel well. You then have a physical reaction and-uhhh- well, a polite way to say it would be to pass gas. So you see, it’s a verb.”

I’m not sure she really understood me but to make the situation worse she asked, “So is this literal? What does it mean for Shrek to fart in its general direction?” To that I replied:

“Well, um, Shrek isn’t very polite, he’s rude and often does things in public that you shouldn’t do in front of others. So this is saying that he, um, farted in the direction of the serious animated movies. Like he was making fun of them.”

Her response? “Oh? So it’s funny? That’s why you are laughing? Ok, yes, I see. I will look it up in my dictionary.”

I can’t wait to hear what she found.