“Can I tell you a joke?” he shyly asked.

When one of your shyest students offers you a handful of corny jokes and riddles that you already know the punchline to and that were last hysterical back when you were 8 years old, then first you applaud the courage to tell a joke in another language.

Then you laugh uproariously, as you would have when you were 8 years old and thought the jokes were hysterical.

No, wait.

Laugh first, applaud second.

And, yes, you can tell me a joke.

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