Wednesday, February 2, 2011
the birds & the bees
Every week I give private English classes to 6 children every week. Normally they are pretty cut and dry- "No you can't be brown eyes, you have brown eyes." But today one of them was pretty memorable. One of my favorite kid to teach all week is an 11-year old named Roberto. He is really good at English and more importantly really enthusiastic. This kid could talk to a brick wall in English. I strolled into the class expecting some funny school stories and homework, but today we had to study for a science test. Okay, no prob. Roberto flipped open the book: Male and Female Reproductive Systems. A little more in awkward than what I do with my 2nd graders but still easy enough to label the parts of the body etc. Then we got to the good stuff. How girls and boys change during puberty. We talked about how girls bodies changed and suddenly Roberto asked me "Yessica...what is a menstrual cycle?" At that moment, I understood how my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Fields must of felt while showing the girls in my class a Tia and Tamara video about getting your period. Totally lost for words, I tried to explain that when there is no baby the woman's egg has to leave the body. "So like when you pee?" Roberto asked. Hmmm not exactly. Then the light bulb turned on... "la regla!" ("your period!") Roberto shouted. "Yes, exactly!" I said trying frantically to turn to the next page and a different topic. Then a strange look crossed his face. "What?" I asked. He looked back at the book and pointed to the part where it said girls go through puberty around ages 11 or 12. He said, "So...girls in my class have the menstrual cycle?" I nodded. His eyes widened and he whispered, "But what did do they do with the blood?" I almost lost it. I think I'll save that explanation for another day.