I only had one class today and I nearly died of boredom. On top of that, the third graders were still away, so I was all alone up in my fifth floor classroom. I did get some serious lesson planning done, so I can take it relatively easy this weekend. But my God.
I watched the buses with the third graders pull up outside this afternoon and all the teachers and students file off. Those poor, poor, poor, poor, poor teachers looked like they were knocking on death's door, even from five stories up. Apparently it rained the whole time, so on top of a grand total of ten hours on buses with our little cherubs, the teachers were cooped up inside with them for three days. I can't even imagine. And now they've got the rest of the working week to survive.
I've caved in and decided to give in to my coteachers cries for more "American" "culture" in the lessons and do the whole Thanksgiving thing. I wanted to bring in pumpkin pie for the boys to make the lesson less boring and more edible, but the only place to get it here is at Costco. Mr. Wan, who still somewhat refuses to admit he was wrong when he told me and Mike we could get Camel cigarettes anywhere in Seoul, told me that Costco has Camels when I mentioned the pie thing, while also explaining that the 50,000 won registration fee was probably a bit much just for pie. Pumpkin pie and Camels? I might be persuaded to part with the cash. But alas, Mr. Wan was just being a smartass again.
I'm pleased to report that we are slowly moving into more normal conversation patterns. He seems to understand me much better these days, as I suspected would be the case eventually. When I first arrived, he said something about it being hard for me to understand Koreans. It isn't. It's just that -- and I noticed this and had this discussion with more than one of my Korean students in New York -- it seems nearly impossible to adjust to an accent on the whole. For some reason I've yet to put my finger on, you have to adjust to the individual person and the way they phrase and pronounce things. I'm also quite sure there is a level of nervousness involved that keeps both parties second guessing themselves until things are more comfortable. Anyway, ever since he caught a look out of me last week when he asked me yet again what I did last night, and made the comment, "I think you are annoyed by same question every day," we've been actually talking about things. And it's really nice. To have someone to really talk to, on a day-to-day basis.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow, whatever the hell it is we are going to do during the day, and the hanging out thing afterward. Mike can't go because he has to go bowling with the "non smoking" crowd from his school, which is a shame. I'm still not that jazzed about hardcore drinking on a work night, especially as I have five classes on Friday, but I suppose it's something I'm going to have to get used to. Mr. Wan is already whining about the fact that I prefer walking reasonable distances to taking cabs. Today he informed me that it's supposed to be raining tomorrow, which "is not good for walking" and that he thinks it is "maybe two, three hours walking" to Jakjeon station from our school (it takes about twenty minutes). Then he suddenly asked me, "What about running? For your health." Yes. Clearly I'm someone who not only cares greatly about my health, but will also go to the effort of running for its sake. I informed him that I only run when something is chasing me. Then somehow we got on the subject of guns and I had to admit to having fired one more than once in my lifetime, and often before the age of 10.
I'm from Texas. Leave me alone.