Most Popular Kid at School. And, I Love Birthday Parties

Me, the most popular kid at school? Ha! I wish this were more true when I was actually in school. (But not really). Now though, I’m definitely like the most popular kid at school – everyone wants me to come to their birthday parties! Of course I get the invitations to the birthday parties of my students (3rd and 4th graders), but the 5th graders love to invite me to their parties as well. Ahem, and I may have crashed a few of the 2nd grade birthdays.

The best invitation I’ve gotten so far is from Sharmand, a now 15-year old boy in 5th grade. During lunch break I was out on the playground singing “Glump, Glump” with some of the 3rd graders when a kid comes up to me and asks me to follow him to the other side of the school yard. Didn’t really know why, and what he wanted, but he seemed really intent on having me follow him. Plus by then my escort had grown to about 6 or 7 excited little kids. And guess where I’m led? To the sole tree in the yard that provides a tiny respite from the scorching sun, where the king of the school yard (that would be Sharmand) was just chillin’, having sent his minions to come get me so he could invite me to his birthday party. I tried really hard not to burst out laughing, and graciously accepted his invitation. LOLs.

For obvious reasons, it’s so much fun to have a birthday at school: you skip class to eat cake. How can it get better? Usually the birthday boy or girl’s family will bring cake, drinks, and fruit, and we’ll put up some fun decorations. We’ll sing the “Happy Birthday” song with gusto and completely out of tune, eat cake, and if you’re Arya’s fun family from Erbil, start waltzing around the classroom. I had two of my kids dance battle once – PRICELESS. Dance battle + Kurdish style beatboxing video to come as soon as I figure out how. I’m kind of technologically challenged for a millennial. It’s embarrassing.

So instead, some photos.



Last thought: the “Happy Birthday” song really is universal. How in the world did it manage to spread all around the world? Because it really isn’t that great of a song at all, and it can get quite terrible to sing. And did you know the song is still under copyright?!  Anyway, so in Kurdish, the words to the birthday song are “hamu sal-eh bah hoshi”, or something that sounds like that. I was told today it means something like “may all your days be good”, but there may have been a lot lost in translation.

I much prefer the birthday song from The Emperor’s New Groove

Happy happy birthday, from all of us to you!
We wish it was our birthday, so we could party too!
Happy happy birthday, may all your dreams come true!
We wish it was our birthday, so we could party too!

See how much more fun that is? But even with the terrible rendition of Happy Birthday in Kurdish, bring on the birthday parties and the cakes covered in fake-sugar icing. Mmmmm.


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