Pretty babies, I am one proud mama today. I had two (two!) of my C level students from the absolute worst class jump out of C level straight up to A, after getting ridiculously high scores on their midterm exams. One of these was Somang, the student that the private school teacher had that really violent encounter with in the office earlier this year, who's been nothing but an absolute fucking darling since that day. When I saw him coming toward me in the hall today, my face burst into literal sunshine, and as soon as he laid eyes on me, he started beaming with pride. I ran toward him:
"SOMANG OH MY GOD! I heard the news! I can't believe that! You are so amazing!" I believe my eyes may have been brimming with actual tears. I slammed my palm into his, as his face crumbled into a bright red smile of mush. "Somang you are my hero. I am so proud of you!"
Unfortunately, Chanseung, who I know can understand me better than any of the other boys in the class, did terribly on the exam and remains in C. I feel really guilty now for all the times I would look at him, after he responded to my questions perfectly in class, and mutter to where only he could hear, "B ban, Chanseung." I'll have some work to do when I see him in class tomorrow, as he knows I was pushing for him. But I had a word with the other teachers about the fact that I think he might have a learning disability. It's just too bizarre that he can understand so much of what I say, and respond, yet he would fail a written exam so miserably. I think Chanseung might simply have an issue with reading.
Minwoo, who sat in the back of class today, but who sang out answers at the top of his lungs like always, apologized to me when I was walking around checking their speaking drills. "Why are you sorry?"
"I.... " He wrote the number 34 in his book, meaning he was ranked 34 of the 40 students in his class on the English exam. I didn't know what else to do, so I just slapped him on the back and told him that I know he's smart -- the test is just stupid. And that he doesn't have to be sorry, because he's working very hard. And I'm proud of him for that.
In not at all unexpected results, Insoo managed to make a ten on the English exam. Bless his darling little heart. And in a bizarre turn of events, my favored C student Seongyoo, who has been sneaking out of C class to sit in on my B class every week, and then slipping in again to sit through the same lecture on Friday with C class, managed to make a five. Which... it's just beyond me how that's even possible, unless you're actually trying to make a bad grade. At some point, you would think the grace of the multiple choice format would step in and intervene. But Seongyoo is an odd duck, and I'm not really sure what he's capable of, or what he's up to most of the time. He's not stupid -- that much is for certain. But he's got a weird awareness of the world for his age, is coping with a father who beats the shit out of him, and does psychologically odd things, like carve Buddhist symbols into his hands. I don't know.
On the other hand, we're now also dealing with A level students who have slipped down to B, which is not going to be pleasant, especially since they've increased the size of the B level classes, in hopes that a number of students will move up from C, taking weight off the private school teacher, who just simply isn't even coping at this point, and is driving absolutely everyone else around her crazy.
Tonight I did fucking ace listening in on the conversation at hwaeshik, didn't get completely lost a single time, and managed to even understand the specifics at least 50% of the time. Afterward, walking home, I encountered a group of students from the bad C class (including the absolute worst student in that class, and Somang, who no longer belongs) out on the street leading up to my apartment. They ran over and accosted me, always happier to see me outside of school than in, and while we were talking, the worst one stuck his big nose into my open bag and -- "DAMBAE!" Busted. But also now super cool. There was an unfamiliar face amongst them, and when I said, "Who are you? You're not mine..." they told me he was from the neighboring middle school, and grabbed my arm to pull up my sleeve and show him my tattoo.
They also saw the milk in my bag and began literally begging like dogs. Kids. No. This shit is for my coffee. And I love you to absolute pieces, but you are not now, nor will you ever be, more important than my coffee. But the little beggars did manage to get my loaf of soft wheat bread and buttermilk butter off me. Which, given the fact that I've gained six of the ten pounds I lost back in the last two weeks, is probably not a complete tragedy.