A Pretty Easy Week

Some of my kids complained earlier this week that we never do anything fun (ever!) and they kept bugging me about watching a movie. I know that Diane shows her two hour grammar class in the morning like an hour of a movie every day. I’m sure that my students know it, too, which made it even worse. So I finally succumbed and promised I’d show them a movie Thursday and Friday.

Luckily, one of the computers already had some movies downloaded on it, Korean subtitles included, so I grabbed the hit classic Johnny English. As soon as the kids saw Rowan Atkinson, they shouted “Mr. Bean!” For some reason, every Korean knows who Mr. Bean is (also, every student I have, even the first graders that can’t read, know the word “cunning”. It’s their way of describing someone that’s cheating). I’d seen the movie when it came out in 2003, but I didn’t really recall much about it.

It seemed to go over pretty well. The first day, at first some kids said it was boring, but by the end of class, when I told them to go home they groaned because they wanted to keep watching.  The ending in particular seemed to have the kids in fits. I had my most advanced class write ten sentences about the movie. Just anything they wanted. What happened, if they liked it, who was in it, etc… A lot of kids described the main character as “stupid and genius”. I don’t know if solving a crime completely accidentally can grant one idiot savant status, but I’ll allow it.

Also, my last class played the Marco Polo game again with their free time after the movie. One may think that Rock, Paper, Scissors is a two, maybe three, person sport. Koreans would disagree with such a notion. I saw an eight-way battle royale go down. It took forever.

Anyway, the week wasn’t all peaches in cream. First of all, I had to watch Johnny English five times in two goddamn days, the first half seven times. Also, I got fed up with a student today. He’s basically just a class clown. He never brings his book. If he does, he doesn’t bring a pencil. He strolls into class 30 minutes late and prances around like a drum major. I got sick of it today. I didn’t yell. It would’ve been pointless. As soon as I saw him looking in through the door (waving and acting goofy), I just told him to go right back out and sit in the hallway. He got up a couple times and I just told him to sit back down.  Might as well just make him incapable of distracting the other kids and deprive him the privilege of watching the movie.

Also, Thursday morning, around 8:50 AM, Diane came into my office and asked me if I knew that I had to substitute teach the Phonics class. At 9 AM. For two hours. A teacher at another school was sick, so a teacher from our school went to sub for her, the Phonics teacher subbed for the teacher that left, and I had to substitute for the Phonics teacher. Thankfully, they were done with the alphabet, and we just spent two days covering the short I sound and doing a little review. Thursday they were atrocious. Friday, thankfully they were a little more subdued and manageable and we managed to have a little fun. Still, the room itself is awful because the air conditioner doesn’t work for shit, so I sweat like a motherfucker in there.

The class isn’t as overrun with trouble makers as you might expect. The girls are little sweethearts, and half of the boys aren’t bad (but they probably don’t belong in the class anyway, I’m not really sure why they’re there). Still, three trouble makers out of ten is enough. Today, I gave them a short break halfway through class to get some water, go to the bathroom, etc… I walk out of the room to see where they all were, just in to see them congregated around the top of the staircase. The worst trouble maker kicked off his “inside shoe”, which landed perfectly on the interior window ledge about twenty feet above the landing of the stairs. I told everyone to go back inside. He tried saying “But my shoe…” to which I just replied “Oh well. I don’t care (in Korean).” I think I would’ve been completely capable of knocking it down with a second shoe, but I’m not really going out of my way for that kid.

Tonight I don’t really know what the plan is, but I’m supposed to hang out with some friends. Tomorrow we’re going to Seoul to some bar in Hongdae that’s having some live music and a “dance party” as I’m told. I haven’t been to Hongdae since my second weekend in Korea, so I’ll make sure to make up for lost time. I’ll have to sleep in a  jimjjilbang again, but I’m told the guys I’m going with know a really good jimjjilbang with bunk beds. Money.

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