Remember that Model Airplane Day thing I mentioned? No? Well, I did...
Anyway. Yeah. That was today. Which means I got to spend a couple of hours out of the classroom, talking to the boys while not also having to ride their asses constantly to stop their tomfoolery and get back to work on their assignments. Which I only ever halfway mean, at any given time. Except on the really, really bad days. Which are seldom.
I took up post on the stone steps in front of the playground to watch the madness ensue. 700 bottle rockets and 500 model airplanes. Grubby, dusty, wet uniforms everywhere. The smell of wet-dog adolescent sweat. The stuff dreams are made of, really. I became the designated handyman, as this student or that somehow managed to royally fuck up their projects before launch time and, one after another observing me fix the one before, began to line up for me to sort it all out.
So I'm sitting there minding my own business, when I hear, "WHERE ARE YOU FROOOOOOM?" coming from somewhere above and behind. Cue a 20 minute shouted conversation with the curious first graders, who I haven't taught yet. They're a bunch of perverts. Perverts with shockingly good English, for our school's population. You're four feet tall, though. Stop asking me for a date. Also, don't scream, "HEY!" at a teacher. Do you scream, "YA!" at a teacher? No? Then don't do it to me. That's what you sound like. Horrible manners. "..... Excuse me?" Yeah okay. I'll take that.
Boy, do they ever have another thing coming once I get their little asses in my classroom.
I've gotten too used to my older boys, who have gotten too used to me. They would never dare to speak to me like that (anymore). To them, I'm a teacher. Not an oddity to be gawked at. They come over casually to chat about whatever, but they've completely lost that element of "oh my god I'm speaking English this is fucking hilarious!" that the new boys still have. Which I guess is a really good sign. Hopefully they won't do that to other foreigners they encounter later in life, either, having realized that, for some people, English is a language and just the way they communicate, and not a really funny party trick. And that other foreigners, like their weoneomin, are just other people. Sometimes I really do feel like we're doing foreigners-are-people-too manners training just as much as, if not more than, teaching English.
Today I taught my second graders with MJ, and they were brilliant. They always are when I haven't had them for a while. I got a standing ovation when I walked into one class, students climbing on top of desks with arms over their heads. Jesus, guys. Has English class gotten to be that fucking boring? Sit down. Stop acting like animals. Open your books to page... oh yes. Stop groaning. This is still class time after all. You know that. Don't act surprised.
After class, MJ and I bumped heads as he reached to unplug my mouse and usb drive at the same time as I did. "You seem to be more energetic than usual today."
"Do I? Well. I'm trying hard."
"You don't seem sick."
"I'm trying not to be."
"Did you eat something yesterday?"
"Yes. I had some juk. Two whole bowls."
"No. Just some vegetables...."
Everyone seemed very curious about how I got this juk today. I bought it for myself, you nosey gits. There's no secret juk-wielding boyfriend hiding in the wings. Although after hearing a phone conversation between me and Smalltown in the office last week, Seokhee is convinced there is. The conversation, from what he heard, went like this:
"Heeeello......no..... I don't know, synonym?...... what?.... what the h-.... what are you on about?..... is this another one of your jokes or riddles or something?.................oh ............... You're strange, you know that? ....... Yeah. Yeah okay just -- ...... well, just send it to me in an email...... okay...... okay I will.... I don't know! I'm going to.... just email me!....... no, I'm trying to walk out the door now, I'm not trying to-- ...... yes, I'll be home in like thirty minutes. I'll call you back then if you really --....... well, fine I'll email you. Okay. Bye..... Bye..... BYE."
Seokhee didn't give me half a chance to explain that I got confused, because Smalltown had been asking me what the opposite of opposite was, and then was trying to tell me that it was "apposite", because he found some rarely used word list online, and wanted to know what my favorite words were (or to tell him, on the spot, some words I thought were particularly beautiful), and I was thinking the whole time it was another one of Smalltown's "hi listen to this joke and/or riddle and/or magic trick I just remembered/heard about/thought of" phone calls. I only got to the joke/riddle/magic trick part, when Seokhee announced to the Korean teacher that I finally had a suitor. I took issue with the "finally" part, but that didn't matter. None of what I had to say did.
Nor does it when I say that the photo of Willie on my phone is of a friend.
Nor does it when I tell them I bought the fucking juk for myself.
I must have a boyfriend. I'm too normal not to.
Well. It's nice of them (of someone) to think so, anyway.