My App Design 3 students are doing a math-heavy assignment, and as I explained what they were doing, I threw out a couple of Chinese number handsigns, meant to emphasize that there were 6 sides on a die so 7 would roll an error. Ok, fine, so this math-heavy lesson was helping the kids make a cheat in a dice-rolling app. One of my students asked me what I doing with my hands.
Oh yeah, I said, it’s just a handsign I used for bargaining in Beijing, sorry kids, let’s get back to the app. The kids had a million questions, so I told them about my years in China, and taught them 6 through 10. (That’s Surfer, Muppet, Gun, Fingerpuppet, Fist, if you’re wondering.) Sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve done very much in in my life, but I just sidetracked my games programming class with expat adventure stories, so, there’s that.
Later that night, I told Harold how funny it was, that I have so internalized the Chinese number handsigns that I used then in class for emphasis and clarity, forgetting that not everyone knows them.
He looked at me weird, and then asked me what number handsigns I was talking about.
Apparently I have been just throwing random hand signs around for years and no one has ever questioned it.