I tutor a 7 year old girl 3 times a week, 2 hours each session. She's very clever and her english is great, but, being a typical 7 year old, has the attention span of a....well, of a 7 year old. She crawls around the floor, asks random questions about anything but what we're studying, takes her shoes on and off, on and off, and chews on whatever happens to be nearby. The last habit being particularly distracting. Needless to say we tend to stray off topic quite often.
One thing I love about children is how frank they are about everything. Sure, it leaves me a bit lost for words when I get asked why my nose is so big, but overall it's a quality I enjoy. Today she sat on the floor and asked me to join her. When I said 'no, it's dirty', she replied in a slightly amused voice 'Just to sit on. Not to eat off!'
But the conversation that was the inspiration for this blog was something else entirely. Now I know why - according to a very convinced 7 year old - people smoke! She had seen one of the other teachers having a cigarette around the corner, and asked me why she smoked. I gave a non-commital 'dunno. i guess she likes it'. But apparently this little girl already had all the answers. 'She's like a boy. Boys smoke.' In China, there are loads of men that smoke, but very few women. 'Some girls smoke' I told her. 'Yes. Angry girls smoke.' Haha!
She also said that sometimes men and women smoke when they're out of work. They really want to play, she explained, but because they're grown up they can't. So they smoke instead. She was just so matter-of-fact about the whole thing, these were facts. So, unless you're a man or you're unemployed, you must be a smoker because you hate the world!
I wonder what insights she has in store for me next class....