lifeboat


Today I dawdled after dinner, still sifting through video clips of the movie, Stand by me to play and discuss with my conversation students tomorrow night.

Genius Gahee stopped by my desk to chat me up and practice her English, and I must say that I’m worse at mundane conversation than my students are, and then to add a language barrier on top of it!  In the middle of our conversation, one of the students pushed me aside and took over my computer to pull up the following video.

In it are a few of my students.  The girl is Wonderful Winnie, whom I love, and who I would want to be if I had grown up in Korea:  One of the few girls who doesn’t have the ubiquitous straight bangs and long hair, she’s thoughtful, smart, got great taste with not one pretentious bone in her body, is a good friend to others, is not a whiney high-maintenance princess yet also not obnoxiously sassy, has great values, and is really down-to-earth.  I think she’d fit in really well into American society.  And the boy, who I can’t remember his name (even though he’s unforgettable) is a classroom disruption because he’s got personality for ten students.  Sometimes he gets on my nerves, but he’s really outgoing and also very smart.  So now he’s an internet star, ha ha!  I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up MC’g some Korean game show one day…and the boy who shows up most in the background is the only student who’s shown some real empathy for me, and who stops by my desk and has tried to teach me (badly, bless his heart) Korean words I already know.  He even gave me some souvenir money from his trip to Canada:  little does he know we can’t figure out how to get rid of the stuff fast enough in America.  He’s a very sweet guy.

In yesterday’s conversation class we played a game of passing objects around in opposing directions while repeating their English pronunciation. Power Pizza, bless his heart, took it upon himself to hand them to me and not let me take the objects until I could say them in Korean.  Love that boy.  In another class one boy begged me to dance at the up-coming school festival (Baekyoung didn’t have any school spirit anything) and  I almost considered it, but then I realized I’d need to be soju fortified and might scandalize the school shaking it for all to see.  At least once a week some student says they love me or that I’m beautiful, which is really good for this lonely aging, ever-widening old lady’s ego.  I think this is the first time I ever wished I was a teenager again.  I wish I was a teenager in Korea…

In the news recently was the story of a 33 yr. old female English teacher who had an affair with her 15 yr. old student.  She wasn’t arrested or anything because he was over the age of mutual consent (13) in Korea.  Sounds like another Mary K. Letourneau, as she’s already married with two kids.  So there’s much talk about where pedophilia ends and where adult responsibility begins and what should be done with her.  She’ll be fired, of course, but we’ll see if public outcry will bring about any change in the laws governing adults in positions of power or authority.  While I would never in a million years entertain anything like that, I kind of wonder if, like me, the only decent human response she gets here in Korea is from interaction with her students.

On one Korean dating site where I did not post my photo I’ve surprisingly gotten a lot of interest from surprising sources.  So thinking about actually daring to meet a couple of them, and I can only put forth an open mind that maybe they aren’t really losers and refugees and maybe they’re just people who missed the boat like myself.

ADDED: Just out of curiosity, I looked up my old school and it seems the teacher’s union there managed to achieve a victory over that almost testing scandal of last year!  And no more forced worship services!  I bet the Canadian guy that replaced me has it so much better this year.  And no Mr. Lee!

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