Well, other than being mildly stalked, my life is not too exciting at the moment. I mean, there's shit going on. But it's not all exactly cohesive. There's a listening test at school this week, so most of my classes have been yoinked out from under me (each co-teacher, of course, asking permission to take my class time, very respectfully, which I definitely appreciate). They've all been reporting back about how much the students are complaining. Oh. The little darlings. Of course it's my beautiful smiling face and entertaining personality they miss, and not their chance to talk about pop stars once a week instead of actually "studying". I'm sure.

Some of my third graders noticed the mala and Chinese zodiac bracelet on my wrist this week and there was a whole big fuss kicked up about how could I be Buddhist when I'm supposed to be Christian (all Americans are Christian). I don't even know how to explain what I am to myself, so I certainly wasn't up for trying to explain it to them in English, so I just said "mixed" and left it at that. They looked about as clear on the situation as I am. So that's fine.

Today I had one of my C level second grade classes that I haven't seen for literally months. They're still monkeys. The C level teacher informed me that she hates that class -- they're her absolute worst. Indeed, she had three of them on their hands and toes with their asses in the air before I even arrived to the classroom. But, what can I say? I'm blessed. I only have to see the little monkeys once every six weeks, so I'm still in love. I forgot already what it's like to teach kids who are still at an age where they will just climb all over you. Although, given that they are all fourteen now, they probably shouldn't be. The higher level second graders don't do that, and haven't since last year. But the C boys are a breed entirely their own. So sweet, with their little rosy cheek faces, calling out all kinds of random nonsense in response to the questions, genuinely trying to get it right, in their own way. And senselessly repeating after everything I say, whether I give the listen-and-repeat signals or not. I just want to spend the entire 45 minutes ruffling their hair, pinching their cheeks and cuddling them. They're too young and sweet to be studying so hard.

Minwoo, a notorious troublemaker in my main co's homeroom class, proved my point about how I think he is ultimately just too innocent today. Co hasn't really been buying it, and I could see why. Minwoo's mother works in a factory and we're not real sure where Dad is, but Minwoo's older brother is a known troublemaker at a technical high school (which he apparently rarely attends) and I told Co that, given that Mom is at work most of the time and Minwoo is left alone in the house with his hyeong and his hyeong's friends, I thought it was more of a trickle-down effect with the behavior.

Minwoo is never, ever a problem in my class, and never has been. Once, when he was a first grader, I told him he had beautiful eyes, and he's been an intensely devoted student ever since. He reins the other boys in during my classes, in fact. But I see him in the office often enough to know he's not so innocent in other classes. 민우야....왜 여기 다시 왔어요? 이 교무실 .... 이제.... 우리 집이에요?

Yesterday, Minwoo skipped his seven class, and Co phoned his mother. Being too afraid to face the music, Minwoo just consulted with himself and decided that he would run away from home. He took his school uniform with him, because he still wanted to be able to come to school. But around 9 pm last night, Minwoo (not having cheon won to his name) got hungry and decided he would just have to return home.


Anonymous said...

some of these stories you share with us are so beautiful, so poetic and so heartbreaking that i find myself rushing to your blog every time i'm anywhere near a computer. thank you so much, liz. i see a novel...or a movie based on your experience in the future.

Nathan said...

That's cute XD thanks for sharing