Hardly Noticeable

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tundra, Volcanic Island, Pampa, Savannah, Bayou: That's all I can remember right now


It’s weird, but this is the first time in my life that I’m happy to work overtime. Today I worked three extra hours. I told Woong Han that I’d teach some more advanced classes, and he was more than happy to set them up. I suppose it’s another few hundred thousand Won in his pocket. Since John left a lot of the kids have quit coming; Woong Han must be hemorrhaging money. I don’t blame the kids for not coming: compared with John I am not exactly Enthusiasm Jones. He did a good job keeping them engaged, whereas I tend to do a mediocre job keeping them awake.

Kindy was not so bad as I thought it would be, but not as good as it was a few months ago. Perceptive. That’s the adjective I need to describe the kindergarten students. Even without a modicum of English ability they know how they make me feel. Kenny (I think his real name is Sung Soo, but I could be making that up. He’s Kenny here.) sat in the back of the room crying softly, but whenever I went near him he burst into choking sobs. The second time I got close he cried so hard that he gave himself the hiccups and I had to send him out to the water cooler to get a paper cup’s worth of water and to calm down. He’s never re-acted that way before, but then again I’d never acted that way before. The class spent most of their time coloring animals. Most popular choice: Liger. Followed by Polar Bear, although they called it “Podu Bear” and drew a bunch of grapes around it. I assume that Podu means grapes, but I suppose it could mean “teacher is an idiot for not knowing Korean.” Though I highly doubt that.

Some of the girls in the advanced class had been watching Friends on Armed Forces Korea Network and wanted me to tell them about New York. I’ve never been to New York, so I decided to tell them a story about Nebraska because I had been thinking about the story earlier this morning. I think I’ve written about it before, but I’m not about to search through notebooks to find it. Or computer files. Or typewritten pages.


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