Things Kids Say, Pt. VI

Despite having once been a child myself, I will honestly never understand why kids say half the things they do:

  • Student: “When did you dye your hair black?”
    • Me: “I never dyed it black! What do you think my natural hair color was?”
    • Her: “Dark brown, like that strip right there.”
    • Me: *tries desperately not to laugh because she’s talking about my bleached strip*
  • Me, teaching: “Does anyone know what an antonym is?”
    • Student: “Stop using these white words!”
    • Me: “Do I look white?”
  • It was a student’s birthday, and I heard he was going to Chuck-E-Cheese’s, so I asked him, “Who do you want to go?” He replied, “You!” and I told him I wish I could but had to get my eyes checked because City Years sadly aren’t allowed to interact with our students at non-school-sponsored events. His response? A gasp, followed by, “You have to get surgery?!?”
  • Me: “Can you give me a synonym for ‘scary’?”
    • Student: “White!”
    • Me: …oh.
  • P, after drawing a smiley face on my hand: “It has glasses because you have glasses!”8B1B27C2-3FB0-467D-8B1F-4108BF77C2C2
  • Student, after giving me her indecipherable drawing: “It’s a pregnant plum in a blanket!”
  • Zohar: “K, you’re beautiful.”
    • K: “I know.”
  • Zohar: “A, do you like girls or boys better?”
    • A: “Neither! I want to be a bird because they’re beautiful. And I want to eat a worm.”
  • A student who’s convinced I’m wearing a wig: “Don’t touch me, Wiggy.” During the past week, she has continued to refer to me as Wiggy and her favorite phrase is now, “Let’s go, Wiggy.” When I told her to pull on my hair to prove that it’s not a wig, she declared, “You sewed it onto your head.”
  • I told one of my favorite students he’s a nerd because he asked if he could do his homework instead of doing something fun in afterschool, and he went, “I’m not a nerd! I don’t have glasses! And my pants aren’t rolled up!” (He is a nerd though. He likes getting homework.)


  • A, after placing a piece of broken lollipop on my hand: “Will you marry me?”
    • She’s so weird. We watched Hidden Figures in afterschool for Fun Friday, and during a romantic dance scene, and she turned to me and exclaimed “Ms. Sarena, only City Years can watch this. Kids can’t watch it. I know what’s going to happen next. They’re going to go to a hotel—” and then I immediately shushed her because why does she know this???

She’s also gifted Zohar and me with artwork—including a devil rainbow—and seashells:


  • Several of my students, instead of giving me high fives with their hands, use their heads instead…?
  • Not a direct quote, but my one of students won the K-2 spelling bee and went on to compete in the 3-5 spelling bee, and then she came in 4th place. So proud of my little 2nd grader!

3 thoughts on “Things Kids Say, Pt. VI

  1. cjcodding says:

    Hi, Sarena!

    I wanted to say a huge “Thank you!” to you for this blog — I’m a college senior (majoring in Art [History] at Reed College in Portland, OR) trying to figure out what to do next and thinking very seriously about both City Year and TAPIF, so it has meant so much more than I can say to hear from someone who has gotten to do both! Not to mention that you’re one of the few TAPIF bloggers who actually updated their blog consistently while abroad. That was also really great. 🙂

    I also wanted to reach out because the next City Year application deadline is this Friday, March 9th, and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about the program (and if you had any application tips, maybe?). If you would be okay to talk and feel comfortable doing so by email, that would be great — but if you’d prefer to talk in the comments here that would also be a huge huge help for me!

    Thank you so much, again, for all of this, and congratulations on all of your grad school acceptances!


    • Sarena says:

      Hi Caleb!

      Thanks for reading my blog! And wow, what a small world. You’re more than welcome to ask me as many questions as you want, though I may be a bit slow in replying because I’m currently doing a Cornell visit until the 8th. Just shoot me an email at, and I’ll get back to you with my real email address (it’s my full name, so I’d prefer not to post it on WordPress.)

      • cjcodding says:

        Thank you thank you, Sarena! I just sent an email your way. 🙂 I hope Cornell is absolutely lovely!

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