I like to movie movie.

Today should've been more boring than it was, considering I only had three classes. But for the portion of it when I wasn't trying not to drool on myself as I nodded off in my cubicle while refreshing Facebook, it was alright.

The most important thing to remember as an EFL teacher, or indeed someone living in a foreign country, or whatever, is that really elementary English speakers have absolutely no idea what they sound like to you when they speak your language.

Today, the handsome PE teacher came over to the table where me and New Coteacher were having lunch and started talking to NC, and, indeed, me -- not that I could understand. At this point, it's second nature to me to immediately size up someone's English speaking ability and adjust my speech to the appropriate level. But since word has started circulating that I'm studying Korean, and can speak and understand some, people don't really know what to do with me anymore. Some stick to the pre-Korean gesturing and bits of English, and some address me full on in fluent Korean. Since Handsome PE Teacher's English is next to nil, he goes with the latter.

At one point, he turned and addressed me directly. Something that started with "miahni" -- "I'm sorry". He got to a point in his sentence and turned to look at NC for help. She said, "Same apartments."

He turned back to me: "Same apartments!" and smiled.

Fucking hell. Is that code for something? Why do I hear that from someone new every four days? And why has he, himself, told me at least three times, even after he's driven me home and knows for a fact that I know we live in the same fucking apartments? And what does that have to do with whatever it was he was saying?

After he left, NC confirmed my suspicions that he is a religious man -- no drinking, no smoking. He also apparently was saying something about how he feels uncomfortable at work, and has a hard time. She said he doesn't show it outwardly, because I was surprised -- the PE teachers seem to be an impenetrable group of close-knit friends. But she explained that he is very old-fashioned, and to him, being mannered means being very gentle. Gentle is exactly the way I would describe him. But apparently he misses companions he can joke around and be himself with.

I still have no idea what he actually said to me. But NC told me that although she and he are good friends, it is his religious nature that keeps her from dating him.

I had my second grade boyfriend's class today. That class is really good, but super distracting. I told them today, listen -- you are a smart class. Thank you! But you don't pay attention sometimes and then you do dumb things. Ooooh, no! Laughter.

Well, it's true.

They aren't used to having me with no translation, and as a matter of habit, they assume they can't/don't need to understand what I'm saying. So when I veer off from the book at any point, it goes a little something like this:

"Now I want you to make your own example. In your book, write 'A' and 'B' and make your own example. Do you understand?"


Blink blink.

"Okay.... go! Do it!"


Blink blink.

"Listen, guys. In your book. You write 'A: Can I ______?', 'B: No, you must not ____.' Then fill in the blanks. FILL. IN. THE. BLANKS. Do you understand?"


Blink blink.

"..... Are you sure you understand?"

Blink blink.

"Oh my God...."

I'm also pretty sure my boyfriend shouted out, "Can I sleep with you?" when I was asking for examples, while trying once again to explain what they should be doing. I missed it the first time, and asked him to repeat it. He said, "Sorry!" instead. Then he shouted out, "Can I love you?"

"No. You must not love me."

"Can I marry you?"

"No. You must not marry me."

English class comedy routines. I should get paid extra.

Then, when I was walking around trying to explain individually what failed in front of the class while there were things like open windows, shoes, and pencil cases to focus on instead, his buddy suddenly grabbed my arm.

"I loveeeeee Englisheeeeeeeee!"

"Oh, really?"

"Yesuh. My girlfriend is American."

"Is that so?"

"Yesuh. Her name is.................................. Elizabeth!"

"I don't think so."

"Oh, no."

"Yeah. Oh, no. Now do your work."

NC said something today that I've been thinking a lot, and trying to express to Mike. She said that the problem with working at a boys' school, as a woman, is that you start to realize that boys simply get bigger, and that's it. When she goes out on dates now, all she can think is, you're just like my students. I told her I've been noticing the exact same thing. When you spend all your time around boys, you start to notice that facial expressions, gestures, inter-species social interactions -- even a kind of disconnect in patterns of reasoning and thinking... it all gets to be just a little too familiar. She said, "I used to think men were... sort of manly. Now when I look at them, all I think about is young boys. That is why I don't want to marry."

Sitting in the dead silent office this afternoon, after school had been out for a good hour, suddenly we see a silhouette moving past the frosted windows: "I like to movie movie!..... I like to movie movie!.... I like to movie movie!.... Movie!.... Yeah! .... I like to movie movie!"

I was apparently the only one who found that funny.

Speaking of, I'm going to bed so early tonight, it's not even funny.

P.S. -- Whoever put "You must not watch this video," as an example in a middle school English book owes me money for overtime. It takes me at least ten minutes to get the class's attention back after that one....


Kel said...

I'm pretty sure your boyfriend is brilliant.
"Can I sleep with you....I mean, can I love you?"

It doesn't get much better/more honest than that.

I'm no Picasso said...

Pretty much. My first thought was, just like a man....

cherry garcia said...


i like to movie movie is a great phrase.