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"Teacher, I have a girlfriend! Believe me!"

Running into my students on dates with each other is simultaneously my favorite thing and the most awkward thing ever.

Yesterday I saw one of my loudmouth boy students out with a girl from another class. Now, a few weeks ago I was teasing this kid because he has “you are so handsome” written in marker on his desk and I had asked him if his girlfriend wrote it. Turns out he had switched seats and the message wasn’t for him, but he insisted that he did, indeed, have a girlfriend. “Ok, sure,” I said, giving him a skeptical look, and causing all his friends to laugh. Of course I never actually doubted him, but if you saw the way this kid goofs off in class you’d give him a hard time too.

Yesterday, he was finally able to prove it. When I got to his class this morning he took the opportunity to brag. And today I have run into him a few times between classes and each time he has shouted down the hallway:

"Teacher, I have a girlfriend! Believe me!"

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Yep, I trust that.

Yep, I trust that.

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More horoscopes written by my middle schoolers:

  • "He will not pass high school. He will be human trash. He will be under arrest. He will be prison breaker. He will be under arrest again. He will kill police officers. He will die in prison. So, he must go to high school."
  • "You will become a kindergarten teacher. But you will get cut from there because you make children cry."
  • "You will sleep. You will eat. You should wear clothes."
  • "You will be rich, but you will fat. You should exercise regularly."
  • "You will eat lunch. You will have stomachache. You shouldn’t eat fish."
  • "You will be ugly. You will die. You should live well^^"
  • "You will be a billionaire. You will marry with Hollywood star. You should study more and more and more."
  • "You will be very hungry because you’re very poor. 2045.12.15 good bye."
  • "You will meet ugly alien and marry with her. You will be famous. You will be good at soccer."
  • "You will have have a special boyfriend. And your chances are always nearby so you should do your best."
  • "You will give money to me. You will be my slave. You should make a lot of money."
  • "You will be ugly. You will have no money. You will die early. Forever single."
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"He will be a murderer. He will run away from Korea. And he will write a book about himself. So he will be under arrest. He will escape from prison. But he will die soon because he have a bad cancer. So, he must not be a murderer."

— This week my students were writing horoscope predictions for each other. Sometimes they got a little…specific.

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He’s Back

Yesterday, I got out of my long afternoon club class and had five missed calls from the same number waiting for me. Thinking it was probably relatively important, I called the number back.

It was my principal - the one from last year. The one who I can easily say is the quirkiest person I have ever met. And he wanted to meet for dinner.

If you haven’t been following me long, let me summarize. This man was completely enamored with me from the moment I started at my school a year and a half ago. I don’t mean this in a creepy or threatening way, just in the sense that he introduced me at length every time we met someone new (or even when the person had gotten the whole spiel before) as our wonderful native teacher who is from Minnesota and who used to do synchronized swimming and uses videos in class very effectively. He knows this because he used to attend my classes a few times a week, diligently repeating words aloud along with my students.

In any case, after he was transferred to a nearby high school this spring, things have been a lot quieter. Honestly, I can say I kind of miss him - even though it’s super awkward at the time my coteacher and I could always bond about the great stories afterward (plus I have a feeling my blog was a lot more interesting when he was featured on a regular basis. So even though I knew it would be awkward, I accepted the dinner invitation. The fact that he never takes no for an answer might have played a part in that decision as well.

So after school today he dropped by to pick me up. But we didn’t go straight to dinner - no, he wanted to show me his new school, since I teach in a middle school and might not know what a high school looks like (spoiler alert - it’s basically a middle school but the kids running around are a bit taller.)

But this basically turned into me awkwardly standing there while he introduced me to every teacher we ran into and kept praising me like he always used to. Now, I do try to do my best and I feel like I’m a good teacher. But I’m not an amazing amazing amazing teacher, nor do I want to hear someone tell random strangers that I am. Also…that school has a native teacher too. I don’t know who it is, luckily we didn’t run into her, but I know I wouldn’t appreciate some random other teacher showing up and seeming to show off in my school. I felt really bad, and tried to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I survived, and we went off to a really delicious galbi restaurant for dinner. His English is not amazing, but he’s very enthusiastic, so dinner wasn’t too awkward.

Then, as he’s driving me home, he makes a sudden turn into the EMart parking lot. “I will buy you some fruit!” he said. Not a question, a statement, thrown over his shoulder as he was already halfway out of the car. I really should have seen this last part coming, of course. When I moved into my apartment, he made an impromptu pit stop at the store to buy me toilet paper and orange juice as a “housewarming gift.”

Of course I protested, as always, and as always it was futile. At some point, you realize that it’s more awkward to keep saying “no” than to just let your former boss buy you orange juice.

And by orange juice, I mean a ton of random other stuff. In the end, my haul was: a box of cherry tomatoes, a bag of apples, a bag of oranges, three bell peppers and a box of Froot Loops (or, as they call them in Korea, Froot Rings).

I’m really going to miss Korea, if only because this crazy stuff makes life so much more fun.

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I’ve seen some pretty oddly named  motels around Korea, but this one is near the top.
Note the totally relevant snowflakes down the side.

I’ve seen some pretty oddly named  motels around Korea, but this one is near the top.

Note the totally relevant snowflakes down the side.

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"Awesome Place" coffee shop.
Don’t beat around the bush, do they?

"Awesome Place" coffee shop.

Don’t beat around the bush, do they?

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"I think he already knows how to talk to ladies..."

  • After finishing my self-introduction with a class of low-level first grade students.
  • Me: Ok, nice to meet you! Do you have any questions?
  • Students: How old are you? Are you married? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite band?
  • Boy student lounging in the back row: Teacher...phone number?
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Jackie Chan on Running Man is my new favorite thing.

Jackie Chan on Running Man is my new favorite thing.

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estelio:

paulajosshi:

Glorious Indiana Jones polling graphics from SBS…

I swear this is the last thing I’ll post about the election. I love how Moon Jae-in’s photo is totally giving Park Geun-hye the side eye the entire time.

I want to hug whomever approved this bit.

Indiana Jones and the Kimchi Peninsula.

God I love Korea.