It’s only Thursday, so the week isn’t quite finished, but I’ll put down some of the more memorable moments from this week so far:
Me (whilst roaming a hallway between classes): Hey, Pak Boyeon.
PBY: Hey… Oh! You know my Korean name!
Me (in Korean): I know all.
It’s particularly amusing, since she’s not even a student of mine, but her younger sister is. I’d literally learned her name from her sister less than an hour before.
Me (to class): Okay, time to put away your books. Time for the test.
Me (to a student): Ark, put away your book.
As he puts it away, I see he has the words on the test written on his desk in pencil.
Me (in Korean): Have you lost your mind?! Erase it!
Ark (on my Korean): Oh! Very good!
A girl comes in from the bathroom, holding the door handle in her hand. A boy runs up and slams the door. I try to open the door but can’t.
Me: Well, good job, Mechanic (yes, that is his name). Now we’re locked in.
Class (chorus): 9-1-1! S.O.S.! Emergency!
As I walk through a crowded hallway.
Student: Father! Father!
It was kind of noisy so I wasn’t paying attention.
Student: Fuck! Shit!
This gets my attention. It’s the student, not even one of my own, I gave 500 won (45 cents) once, and he now pesters me for money every time I see him. He’s also inexplicably taken to calling me father. This is also the “I love you! I am gay!” kid.
Anyway, the first class I gave a test to did very well. As a reward, we’re watching Iron Man 2 tomorrow. I got a handful of 100% scores, and most students got about 75%. Only three students scored 50% or lower and I’m having them re-take it while the other kids watch a movie. The advanced class after them did atrocious. The best score was 90%, but everyone else averaged around 50%. I take that on me. They didn’t have the benefit of familiarizing themselves with the words for three weeks and know the Korean definition, so I’m going to dial it back a bit. We’re going to go back and learn all the Korean words, and next week they’ll have a Korean to English test. The problem with this class is that because it’s advanced they expect me to just whizz through the material, but this vocab test showed that the kids have a very tenuous grasp on the material we’re covering, and their ability to follow the stories we’re reading is probably highly related to what’s going on in the pictures.
Today was all giving tests and worksheets or starting to review for a test that the class will have Friday or next week. There’s pretty much nothing left to do in the book for me, so I guess what I’m doing is better than just playing games or watching a movie. If anyone has a problem with it, they can go ahead and give me a better idea.
Tuesday, at hapkido, my master said that I’ll have my level test on Friday. I’m pretty stoked. Especially since I was told that it generally takes two months to get to that level. I’ve only been at it five weeks, and that’s at only a rate of three meetings a week, so it’s really only like three weeks. Fifteen hours in, and I’ve apparently learned 40 hours of hapkido. Hells yeah. I’m pretty confident that I’ll pass.
After that, I don’t have real plans for Friday night. Just bumming around Cheonan to see what’s popping. Saturday, I’ll probably be going back to Hongdae with some friends who haven’t been there yet. It’s strange to think that the first couple months I was in Korea, I didn’t really enjoy going to Seoul, but now I use any excuse I can to go there.