Back in the classroom, finally, thank fuck. Teaching third graders all week. Such a relief -- I won't have the little guys until next semester, although seeing them around and chatting a bit, they seem alright. I think it's just the current second graders that are wankers.
The EZ is still chained closed, so I'm going from classroom to classroom this week, just like the real teachers. And guess what? Fucking hell, are they ever more attentive in an actual classroom. 80 million won on this new EZ and all it takes is a stroll down the hallway to their ordinary classrooms to get them talking and paying attention ten times better than in that fucking circus of a room.
My mouth is terrible these days, isn't it?
I was worried about the classroom thing at first, thinking, now they've got the home turf advantage. And it's a bit like that, when I first walk in -- a football stadium, that is. But I think it's just because a. they don't know they're due to have class with me, rather than their normal English teacher and b. they are now officially third graders. My lovely, studious, respectful second graders have instantly transformed into boisterous, hormone driven, top-dog third graders. Not all of them, obviously. But the majority. Today I was serenaded -- in class, in front of my coteacher -- with a tone-deaf rendition of "You Are So Beautiful", which I didn't mind so much. But the little "sekshi"s in the hallway are seriously pissing me off. I didn't mind getting it off the third graders last year, because I didn't have to actually teach them in class -- I wasn't their teacher, never would be. And after all, I lived in Brooklyn for five years -- I've had much worse hurled at me on street corners. But out of my actual students?
Gotta think of a good way of handling that. One that doesn't involve telling them to get their cocks out and let us have a look, which was generally a good way of dealing with Brooklyn asshats, but probably wouldn't go over well at school.
Oh. It is fucking, fucking, fucking lovely to be back in the classroom. And something clicked at winter camps, as well, when I was able to work with smaller groups that didn't intimidate me so much. My confidence has carried over extremely well into the classroom -- the lessons are stronger, less boring. I know more how I can be useful, as the native speaking teacher. And, most important of all, I'm holding their attention. A lot of that is due to the fact that my wonderful new main coteacher takes the liberty of translating my jokes. And I'm learning better how to make ones they'll understand without translation. I'm much less a bundle of socially anxious nerves and much more myself, which isn't as horrible.
I wasn't nervous at all about performing in front of two new teachers today -- more eager to show them how I work. And, unlike the teachers who saw me when I was first dropped into this whole thing, completely unsteady on my feet, they seemed genuinely impressed. And they were enjoying class as well.
I haven't got it just yet, my lovelies. But I'm getting closer.
Still fighting on the front lines of the "I'm fine, thanks, and you?" battle. And today I tackled, "What is your hobby?" head on. Don't say it, boys. It's fucking weird. Managed to actually get the coteachers asking questions, when I raised the issue of how "good evening" is generally a greeting, while "good night" is used for goodbye, and not necessarily at night -- just when you are leaving someone for the day. Or how "what do you like to do?" is different from "what do you do?" Anything to get these kids to stop shouting "hi" in my face day in and day out.
And two little smart asses up front decided to teach their teacher, who has been living in SK for four and a half months now, how to say "On Yong Hah Say Yo". I gave a cheeky grin and shook my head, responded with a flawless, "ahnYAseyoooo", complete with a little bow. "Wah!"
I know. I'm fucking impressive. Nigh on half a year in a place and I can give a standard greeting like a native.
Doing the "things that piss you off" thing this week, due to the fact that no one told me I was to have third graders at all, let alone first thing this morning, so I haven't even glanced at the book, and some classics of the day involve one particularly comical duo writing in "kiss" for every answer. As in:
It bothers me when my parents kiss.
It bugs me when teachers kiss.
It pisses me off when my girlfriend kiss.
It drives me crazy when I'm on the subway and kiss.
I had some questions about those last two, the latter more grammatical, and the former more theoretical.
Not as many questions as I had about, "It pisses me off when my girlfriend I am sleep in bed and kiss."
1. When has that ever, ever happened? You naughty little liar.
2. Why on earth would that piss you off? Look, I think you're missing the point of this exercise....
In the words of Big Bang, koh jid mal, my dear. Big, fat koh jid mal.
Also, a bizarrely large percentage of each class finished the sentence, "It makes me angry when men" with "hit me". Although having spent enough time on the subway with adjoshi at this point, I think I understand what they're getting at.
One trio decided to call me over for a translation issue. This group consisted of Heckle and Jeckle of "On Yong Hah Say Yo" fame, plus one slightly more intelligent individual. Heckle and Jeckle began by pointing at each other and saying, "He. Mother. Me. Father." and pointing at the space where they were to write what their neighbors do that pisses them off.
"He. Mother. Me. Father."
Yes, I got that part, my darlings. You wanna give me a bit more?
"He. Man. Me. Man."
Well, that's debatable, but go on....
"Married. Two men married."
It pisses you off when a married gay couple move in next door? Well, sweethearts, you aren't the only ones....
At which point, Slightly More Intelligent piped up to say, "Fighting."
"It makes you angry when your neighbors fight?"
All three looked up at me and nodded.
"Well then... uh... it makes me angry when my neighbors fight."
"Okay! Thank you!"
Fucking. The wonder of young minds.
What a nonsense.