"What is your IQ?", he asks.
This is a student in "GA class", the 3rd-highest-level class in the elementary-school group at the language institute at which I work, out of the 11 total hypothetical levels. (Hypothetical because not all exist at any given time for lack of students). (GA means 'Glide-Advanced', for some reason). Jon is in 6th grade.
I answer that I don't know, and that I'd never taken such a test. I quickly turn it around to ask him, a teaching instinct I developed long ago, though this was not exactly a teaching situation.
Me: "What's yours?"
The boy: "One-fifty-one."
He belted it out matter-of-factly, as if informing me of his age or shoe size.
Jon had spent much of the class trying to talk to me about the 19th-century novel Frankenstein, giving me his opinions on it and trying to inform me about the intricacies of the plot as I roamed the room checking work. He came onto that subject because I'd been trying to explain the word "jolt", and I'd used Frankenstein as an example, as in the monster was 'jolted' to life. Jon Chung had raised his hand promptly, and had helpfully pointed out, "actually, Frankenstein is the professor's name, not the monster's name."
Finally, I don't know what to make of Jon's question. Was he asking because he thought my IQ was low, or high? Or just showing off his own supposed IQ? If the South-Korean IQ is 105 on average, as I've read, and the standard deviation is 15, then a Korean with IQ 151 is in the top 0.1% in IQ in his country. Maybe Jon did one of those goofy Internet tests, of dubious reliability. Who knows?
I do know that he is pretty smart, all the same.
And he's still just a kid. Last week after class, he approached me to ask, very earnestly, this question: "Do you like dinosaurs?" He subsequently went into a small explanation of his dinosaur collection.
I like this student named Jon.