I woke up this morning and had a legitimate waking dream. It’s the first time that happened to me that I can remember since I was eight years old.
Very vividly, there was a blond girl sitting at the edge of my bed and two window washers cleaning the door of my balcony. My eyes were wide open; everything else about the room was exactly as it was in reality: large circular overhead light, broken TV, fan, Mike Piazza doll, etc. I was actually kind of freaked out, not just because of the fact that I didn’t know how they let themselves in, but importantly I couldn’t make them disappear just by blinking.
In a few minutes I reached a more full level of consciousness and they were gone. And then I decided it was pretty cool. I feel like there were a lot more unpleasant spooks to conjure up than what my brain fed me for breakfast. I eagerly await more visitations from imaginary friends.
I also didn’t realize until 4 this afternoon that I’d left the balcony open all day, which might explain why I had to kill so many mosquitos. I understand that killing is wrong, but I can’t help but feel satisfaction when I send them to their judgement. Hey, it’s not like they wouldn’t do the same thing. No bug was going to give me malaria today!
Just to prove that not all my moments with students are confrontational, here are some happier thoughts about my classes:
Skywalker was a dear today. He was attentive, partipitory, and even got answered some questions correctly. He wasn’t as heroic as Luke, but he certainly wasn’t cocky and obnoxious like Anikan anymore.
I’d say he was more like Shmi Skywalker today, Anikan’s kind hearted but poorly scripted mother.
If my students were all 10-15 years older and not my students, I would be totally set on this island. I’ve been given so many compliments about my naturally crafted physique, you’d think I actually went to the gym. I always enjoy the comparisons to Harry Potter, I suppose because we both wear glasses (sometimes) and both have dark hair. The comparisons stop there most likely, I don’t even think I’d be a Gryffindor.
But back to Korea! I might already be set; one of the students may or may not have offered to help set me up (with someone my age hopefully?).
Also a woman working at the coffee shop I’m at now asked me how old I was. I never know, when I tell them the truth, if I’m giving the right answer or not. Even if they had better English, I would tell people here that I am whatever age will make myself more eligible in their eyes.
Several hilarious episodes occured in school last Friday.
The old Asian stereotype about confusing L and R came alive for one class, 8D, when we played Scattegories and this poor soul named “Blake” managed to botch every single category in spectacular fashion.
“Someone give me a food that begins with R!” I demanded.
“Remon!” shouted Blake.
“Noooooooo,” I said. And I spelled “lemon” for him. And the other kids laughed.
“Now a country or city!” I said.
“Ros Angeles,” Blake replied.
“Dogh! Wrong again! Los Angeles starts with L,” I said. One of the other kids really grilled him for that one.
“You fool,” said a kid who goes by Victor at the hogwon. “It’s called LA!”
Poor Blake did a face palm.
Victor was one to talk. He spelled “tiger” t-a-i-g-l-e. Nice try. Kind of.
What was so sad was that every category, Blake thought THIS time he had it right. He was so hopeful when he tried “Rucas” for a name.
I don’t hold any of this against him, by the way. This class happens to be very intelligent. The problem, from what I understand, is that if kids aren’t introduced to the distinction between the l and r sounds from a very early age, they have an extremely difficult time with the concept. I am very curious about what, if any, the reverse implications are. What sounds can westerns not distinguish among the Korean language? Maybe once I learn more, I can figure that out.
INSTANT UPDATE: JUST A GOT A COMPLIMENT FROM A WOMAN IN THE RIGHT AGE BRACKET. SUCCESS!
In another class, I had them write sentences about James Bond, and the boys were very confused about who the hell this was, until after ten minutes of explanation, one of the kids finally had an epiphany and shouted “ZERO ZERO SEVEN!” and I felt like my role as an educator had been fulfilled.
My new favorite hobby is to take some swings at the batting cages. I teach at a school with some very sporty women, I believe at least two of whom played softball in their younger years. The only thing I don’t like is that the cages are sort of expensive (not enough balls for the price) and when you really lay into one, it doesn’t go very far. I want to see my moonshots sail over Jeju island, it’s a bit deflating when they just hit the back net 20 meters away.
I met another Jew on the island the other day. She was excited to find out I was from New York, just like her, and then equally disapointed to discover that I’m from the REAL New York, the one with the cows and spiedies and finger lakes and mountain ranges, the New York where you can actually drive a car. Niagara Falls ain’t in Manhattan, girlfriend. There’s only one place in the country where you can get Dinosaur BBQ: that’s right, upstate, bitchez.
Later today I’m going to post photos from Udo, and some fun at the batting cages.