Would you really think I would be above it?

Well, you would be wrong.

I spent the majority of my time today making the third graders dance for candy. Why? Because all my classes got canceled and I was bored and because I could. They bum-rushed the EOZ at lunchtime, and by the time I made it up there, there were approximately sixty clambering boys, climbing over each other and shouting, "TEACHA! TRICK OR TREAT! CHUPA CHUP! I LOVE YOU!"

"WHOA! Wait a minute... where's my present?"

They consulted amongst themselves for a moment and then, in a beautifully synchronized show, all put their hands to their chests and declared, "Teacha present my heart!"

"Oh. No thank you. HEY MAKE A LINE! Animals...."

Of course, I noticed about five minutes in that there was some sort of looping effect going on with the line. Today was the day they learned for a fact that their weoneomin can tell them apart. And they now think "go away" means something equivalent to, "I already gave you candy," a la: "Happy Halloween. Happy Halloween. You -- go away. Happy Halloween. You -- go away."

They started policing each other, in case one slipped past my excellent memory: "NOOOO! TEACHA HE GO AWAY!"

I got the Sorry Sorry dance, the Abracadabera dance, the Nobody Nobody But You dance and the Again and Again dance. And a few rather creative free-style numbers. A few tried their hand at sekshi dacing, American style. In those cases, I told them I would give them candy to stop and promise never to do that again, especially in front of a girl.

And, of course, there was:

In other news, it turns out my after school classes are going to continue even though I was told I had the choice to stop them before I went home for vacation, and said I would prefer to (at that time planning to continue on with Korean classes). I don't really mind, because I was feeling rather disappointed that they were ending anyway. Other than the fact that I feel like I was pretty well ignored. But I guess I won't make an issue out of it. Chances were, it was probably just a misunderstanding anyway.

The poor boys, however, were under the impression (because I was under the same impression) that they wouldn't have a seven period anymore. I had to break the news to them yesterday. One mouthy (but overall decent) student was kicking up a particularly loud stink about the whole thing, while I was explaining that I'm just the weoneomin -- not the principal: I just obey, and if they have a problem with it, they have to take it to the Korean teachers. "TEACHA WHY! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!" This continued on until I finally feigned anger and stopped talking.

The class settled into a deadly silence.

"Listen... here's the real reason we have more seven classes.... okay? Ready?"


"It's because I love you so much that I can't let you go."


"No really! I love you so much that I want to teach you everyday for the rest of my life! I love making millions of copies of all these books for you! Everyday, it's my dream to hear you complain about the worksheets! My life is nothing without this!"


"What? You don't believe that?"


"Then be quiet. It's not my choice either. We have to endure."

I'm finally winning those last two little pains in the ass over, as well. The 기분 in the classroom lately has just been too good for them to stay grumpy. And the final straw came yesterday, when Mr. King of the Grumpy Pants managed to embarrass even himself. Just as silence settled over the classroom, as the other students saw I was preparing to start reading, he somehow managed to shout "개새끼!" at his friend. The entire class took a deep breath in and the burst out laughing, as they saw my face and suddenly knew that I understood.

He turned toward me, wide-eyed.

"Was that like... just in general? Or what?"

He turned to his friend for translation. "몰라...."


"Who was that for?"

Back to his friend. "누구! 누구!"

"아! 이...." Pointing at another student.

"Well, okay then. Glad we sorted that out. Can I read now?"


"Okay good. Here we go...."

Today Mr. Grumpy was a lot more cooperative, and, instead of gazing out of the window or drooling on himself, throwing bits of eraser or smacking his friend in the back of the head with his folder, he instead made a game out of calling me over as often as possible, away from the other students, to ask questions.


"One minute."


"One minute."


"Oh my god..."

Everyone laughs.

He's a star in the show, now. That seems to have made him happy enough. So we're right on track. The other problem student is just a bit of a weirdo, but today he was petting my arm and playing with my bracelet while I was helping Mr. Grumpy Pants, so I guess we've made friends now too.

Looking forward to busting their little asses with the new chapter books I've procured. You wanna complain the material is too easy, eh? Okay then. Here we go.


Berwinne said...

Oh dear gods - I needed that. I laughed so much during this post.

I teach at a High School in Ansan and the boys are hands down my favourite classes. Especially the ones that are "lively" and that the korean teachers do not like much due to their "enery".

I am just starting korean classes. Reading your musings has given me the inspiration and desire to be able to communicate with my classes (okay - and to figure out what all the mutterings are about).

You have a gift for telling a story.


I'm no Picasso said...

Thank you very kindly, Fid.

The boys certainly keep me going. I've said it before -- they give as much energy as they take, which is a lot.