23 October 2010

Wales? Where Is That?

I wanted to know the name of this young high school freshman who has been with the team for only a few days.

“Ian pô!” was the polite response. Eye-an was how he pronounced his name.

“Would you mind,” I asked, “if I pronounced your name Ee-an, instead?”

He wouldn’t…


“Would you happen to know what your name means?” Shake of the head.

“It means,” I continued, “John in Welsh.”

The young boy’s eyes lit up happily. “Do you know who the Welsh are?” I went on with the interrogation.

Another shaking of the head…


“They are the people of Wales,” I said, very much the teacher, happy to forego the coaching for a moment.

“Do you know where Wales is?”

This time, no more shaking of the head. Face lighting up as he prepared to speak, he finally did so full of confidence, “…in the ocean!”


He looked momentarily bemused as everyone else broke into laughter, then himself managed a sheepish smile.

“Wales,” I taught him, “is one of the nations of the United Kingdom. Now remember that, even before you learned your football, you got a geography lesson from me!”

And that, my friends, happened just this afternoon. Swear…

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