Showdown at the SK Corral

Well, Friday started off pretty well. I was unusually productive in the morning, despite spending a lot of time on Facebook talking with friends from home. Mr. Lee told me he’d teach my first class for me, so I avoided teaching my little hellions, and I taught some other much better behaved classes (in general). One girl wouldn’t stop repeating every word I said, so I kicked her out of class. That really pissed her off. She started crying and kept trying to come in, so I locked the door, and she stood there for awhile rattling the handle. I ended up just standing in front of the door and holding the handle, which also kept people from seeing her through the window in the door, so she wouldn’t be so distracting. She finally settled down and I let her back in, and she was just pouty and quiet the rest of class, which I can deal with.

The rest of the next five classes was great. We either made flaschards or played games with flashcards we’d made earlier in the week. I was having a pretty great day. I got to Navy class, and because Diane dawdled a little about getting out of the room, I only had fifteen minutes with the class instead of twenty five minutes. I decided to just let the kids work on their homework. They had a test, and all they had to do was write every answer they got wrong five times in their notebooks.

However, one student absolutely refused to do what I told her. She argued that it was homework and not school work, so she didn’t have to do it at school. I said I didn’t care and that she had to do what I told her. I had to press her really hard, and she finally started with like two minutes left in class. So I let everyone go, but told her she had to stay and put all the chairs up on the desks and sweep up. Of course, she threw a fit. She said she’d tell her mom what I did, which I encouraged, and told her the more time she wasted standing around doing nothing, the longer she’d be at school, which finally got her into action.

Then, right before I go to teach my last class, her mom shows up. She called her mom and had bitched about how I’d let everyone else talk or read comic books while I was trying to make her do work. I explained that every other student had followed my directions, and once they were finished I let them follow whatever quiet, non-distracting pursuits they so chose. Some talked quietly with friends, read books, etc… but literally every other student had completed their work before class had ended because they simply followed my directions. I thought that was the end of it.

My last class was a little rocky. The kids insisted on watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I finally let them because they said Diane promised they could finish it. After the movie finished, one of the girls turned off the computer really fast, so I was like “Okay, get out your books, let’s do work”. They complained they hadn’t read the story yet so they couldn’t do work.

Diana: We did not read it yet! I cannot do it!
Me: Kelly’s doing it. Is Kelly smarter than you?
Diana: … Yes.
Me: Then try harder.

One boy didn’t have his book, so I was going to have him sit in the back with his head down. Then I noticed the 2000 fliers Mr. Lee had had my print out earlier in the day, so I just pointed to them and said “count”. So, for the last fifteen minutes of class he just counted pieces of paper. I thought that was a fantastic punishment. I had a hard time not laughing. Especially when the other boys would start saying random numbers under their breath to make him lose track. I yelled at them, but then I kind of had to turn away and laugh behind my book.

The boy took it pretty well. He just kind of laughed about it. He’s generally a pretty cool kid. Actually, right after he left, I found his book in a desk. Oh well, I guess that’s why you take your book home and don’t leave it in a desk.

Anyway, after work I was on my way to Yawoori with Dave to get dinner then he was taking off for Bucheon and I was heading to the Banana Bar to play pool. Then I get a call from Mr. Lee saying that I used “wrong conduct” to punish the student, and that I should apologize to her parents. I told him to say I was sorry, but I obviously didn’t mean it. He made it sound like he wanted me to meet up with them in person to apologize, but I said I was on a bus so I couldn’t. Diane then called to ask if I could give her my key to get into the school so she could get the girl’s mom’s cellphone number from the roster so they could set up a meeting, and I just told her the  same thing.

I’m honestly really torn about what to do here. I really don’t want to apologize. I can especially imagine it giving the girl no small amount of pleasure that I had to admit I was wrong. This is particularly unappealing since I feel like nothing I did was wrong. Mr. Lee encourages me to spank kids with this stick, but every punishment I come up with is apparently just horribly unacceptable. I fail to see how putting up chairs and sweeping is an inappropriate punishment. I’ve made plenty of other students do it, and none of them ran crying to their moms.  It’s just this girl being a spoiled brat, honestly.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’ll do. What I really want to do is just tell her parents I don’t want her in my class anymore. If she won’t respect me, requires constant discipline, they apparently take her side over mine, and disagree with how I choose to punish her, then they should just remove her from the program. Still, I can imagine this creating a lot of trouble. Perhaps over the weekend shit will cool down and by Monday it will be a non-issue. Honestly, the only punishment I have left for her is kicking her out of class.

Generally when I kick kids out, I keep their bags so they can’t leave. It’s a surprisingly effective punishment. I think the kids just get really embarrassed about it. Anyway, with this girl, I wouldn’t even bother keeping her bags. The next time she crosses me she’s just out. Take your bags and go home. I don’t want you here.

Anyway, dinner was nice, and then I spent all night at the Banana Bar. It was a pretty dead night. The bartender introduced me to some Koreans there that speak pretty good English, so I talked with them for awhile, played some pool, etc… They left pretty early around 11 PM, but we exchanged numbers and they said they were interested in stopping by the language exchange. I also talked with this Australian dude named Stephen for awhile. We’d met once or twice before, but never had an extended conversation until last night. It was mostly telling drinking stories and weird food stories trying to one up each other (I failed in both regards).

There was a small group of Koreans left after the ones I met left. Two were older guys, one so drunk he was just passed out on a bench, and the other quite severely intoxicated. The other two were a young couple half-playing pool (often using the wrong ball as the cue ball because they were also quite inebriated) half-making out and dancing with the pool sticks. The drunk older gentlemen tried talking to me. Well, I can’t even say that. He wasn’t even talking in Korean. It was mostly a series of points, taps, shrugs and grunts. A little quiet, but all in all, not a bad night. I’ll probably end up their again tonight.

Your daily dose of Konglish:

Level 1:

History: Pizza, pasta, they are from Italy. (Common Sense)
History: How can our ancestors get water in winter? (Korea History)
History: Women who can be a queen of two kings (Korea History)
History: The process of being a queen (Korea History)
History: Pro-Japanese’ work (Korea History)

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