Good advice.

Oh man oh man.

Haecheol is an A level student who I call "애교왕" -- aegyo king, because literally everything he does is infused with aegyo (see this video if you don't know what aegyo is -- Hyunjoong loses a bet and has to do an act of aegyo -- basically, an exaggerated version of acting cute). At first, I thought he just spoke to me the way he does because he's trying to simplfy his Korean so I can understand. Then, I realized he talks to everyone that way.

This week he suddenly took to shouting out listen-and-repeat at the top of his fucking lungs. He did it during my class on Monday. This afternoon, he was in the office writing out an apology and I asked him what for. Shouting in class.

"More shouting?"


"A little more shouting?"

"조-금 많-이."

Another student, whose name I haven't bothered to learn, because I'm still not convinced that I like him, was in a fucking foul mood because he's in B level class and he's not pleased at all with the teacher change.

I used to refer to this student as The Student With The Punchable Face. Because I fucking hated him. Then, at the end of last year, while we were doing movie class after finals, I looked over to the back corner just in time to see him spit a gigantic wad of gum up into the air, which then landed stupidly in his hair. I got so genuinely red-faced, bent over, not breathing cracked up at this, drawing the entire class's attention to it, that he was genuinely embarrassed, and seemed to have to call a truce with me afterward.

This year, he's not been half bad. But like I said, I'm still on the fence. He called me over today to consult with me and make his complaint known. "TEACHER. TEACHER CHANGEE. WHY?"

"I don't know, kiddo."

"I am not happy!"

"I know, buddy."

"I want Kang Teacher!"

I nodded.

"Oh very not happy! Why change?"

"I don't know."

He stared at my face and seemed to be contemplating something deeply for a moment.

"Teacher have boyfriend?"

"What? Where did that come from, suddenly?"

"Teacher have boyfriend?"


"Teacher like Korean man?"

"What?! I don't... "

"Teacher no like Korean man?"

"I didn't... just play the game. Here. Give me the cards. Teacher dealer."

One of my favorite students in the same class (a bad one, of course) was in a funny mood today. He had his head down during the listen-and-repeat before we could start the game, and we got a big old guffaw out of everyone when I went over while doing the drills and lifted him up by the neck, raising his arms over his head and moving them for him, enthusiastically, while he rested there limply like my marionette. Once I got them all set up with the game and made sure they were at least attempting some part of the English in the process, I noticed he was still brooding, so went over and sat next to him.

"What's wrong with you today, huh? You're in a funny mood."

"Teacher I'm tired."

"Why are you so tired, huh? What did you do last night?"

"I sleeping."

"No. I think you didn't sleep. Oh. I'm tired today too, though. The mood is bad this afternoon. I wonder why."

He slumped over in his desk toward me and just shook his head.

"What should I do? I have two more classes after this, and then another appointment. But I'm too tired. Give me advice." (Our last chapter was on advice vocabulary.)

"Oh Teacher. I'm very tired, I.... run away. Teacher 그냥.... run away."

I thought about that for a second. It seemed like valid advice to me.

So I fucking did.

Not from school, obviously. Those days are long behind me. But from the artist formerly known as the terrible teacher, who still can't manage to grasp the concept that I can use chopsticks and read Korean. Which I just can't deal with today.

So now I'm home! Wahey! Very good advice, indeed.

1 comment:

Tiffani said...

There's nothing I love more than reading your student stories!!