Of Proposals and Overachievers

When I asked Sohee at the end of today how she felt, I think she summarized it perfectly.

“It went better, but still bad.”

I have to agree.

I wasn’t as nervous, so that was better. But it was still bad because for two classes I somehow brought the wrong flashcards and therefore had to have drawing contests which was fun, as long as Director doesn’t find out.

The best part about Tuesdays and Thursdays is that I don’t have classes very first or very last, giving me two breaks. But Director says she wants to fill those classes so who knows if that will continue.

It’s hard to know the true impact of my mistakes until Friday, when I will have the Monday students again. Tomorrow is the same as my Monday students, but with entirely different textbooks (“Flying Start”) with entirely different aims. So now I have to prepare those lessons.

Highlight of the day:

I taught Social Studies to my Ninas today (the ones I have every day.) Eric decided he wanted to be “Mr. E” today, so he could be like his friend “Mystery.”

Doesn’t laugh too hard otherwise they will go crazy even thought it’s very witty and I love it

The lesson was “rules of the playground” which is a little strange but sure I played on a playground back in the day. We were discussing “merry-go-round” and I explained that you spelled it “merry” not “marry”.

Mr. E: “Mallory Teacher, are you married?”

Me: “No Mr. E, I am not married.”

Then he got up out of his seat and bowed on the ground and asked me to marry him like they do in the We Got Married tv show.

This is a 100% true story everyone.

Eric is loud and smart and all over the place so Mystery and Julie were laughing and so was I. I told him that we had only known each other for two days and that he was moving too quick for me. Maybe at the end of the term. He nodded like this made complete sense and we moved on with the lesson.

Can’t get proposal at Mormon school…can get proposal in Korean school…

The second funniest part of the day was when I taught my Santa Intensives for the first time. There are regular Santas (Santa Maria, not hohoho) and there are Santa Intensives. I’ve asked many people what the difference is.

Me: Are intensives smarter so they need harder material?

People: No.

Me: Okay, are they slower so they need more time?

People: No.

Me: So…what are they?

People: I don’t know. Just teach them this book (Reading Champ).

Story of my life

So I walk in and there are four students. One of them looks like he is 16. Which is funny because Asians usually look younger than they actually are.

Guess how old this kid is?

He was born in 1990–making him almost 25.

Could pass for 12 in a Disney Channel Original Movie


 I didn’t ask him how old he was, partly because he looked homicidal and partly because he may actually be 18 and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Then there was a girl sitting in the corner who looked on the verge of tears. Neither this girl nor old kid had textbooks, so I offered them to share mine. It can’t be that difficult for me right? I speak English. Old kid took it, never making eye contact with me, and I asked quiet girl to come sit close to me so she could share it too and she shook her head with the biggest scared eyes like I’d just asked her to cross the road by herself during a green light. I was like, “okay okay! You can stay there! Don’t cry!”. Then there was a kid in Harry Potter glasses who whispered his name when I asked it but at least he had his book and made eye contact with me. And lastly there was Chris, who declared, “My name is Chris C-H-R-I-S”.

I love you.

Chris then proceeded to answer most of my questions. I was trying to explain words like, “uncommon” and “mentally” with weird flashcards someone else had made and I’m trying to save the trees so I just grabbed them without looking before and well…I’ve seen better.

Chris was the only one who would even repeat the words after me. Harry Potter looked at his book and moved his mouth. Scared girl was paying attention but whenever I looked at her she stared at her thumbs. And old kid literally never looked up from his (my) textbook. He read when I asked him to, and he can read well, but he never did anything on his own volition.

About 10 minutes passed this way and I’m thinking

This is going to be a long class

when Albert walked in. Let’s call him Gu Jun Pyo, because his hair is dyed and curled like this.

Hello. I am Albert all grown up. Just as sassy. Just as annoying. Just as amazing.

Usually one would not be pleased to see a child like Albert because he is THAT kid. The one always poking his friend and yelling the answer before anyone else can and randomly crawling under the table and you’re like, “what happened to Albert? Oh he’s under the table.”

But I was so relieved to see him because there would be a third voice in the class! Yay!!!!

Gu Jun Pyo and Chris then basically did the entire lesson with me while the other kids followed along. I know that’s not great teaching. I know everyone should be included. But it’s hard when two kids don’t have textbooks, one girl will only shake her head yes or no, and the other boy whispers all of his answers.

Anyway. I already love Chris. Whenever he finally understood a concept (after much miming, synonyms, and outrageous hand motions from me) he would make an “ahhh” sound and write it in a separate notebook with the Korean word.” These kids already have 8 textbooks and he has a separate one just for his personal study I guess. #thenexteinstein You can also tell already that he’s going to be a lady killer. So it’s more like #nextkpopstar

Also—I have a class with 13 kids. The max is 12, yet there is 13 in this class.

 And I have them for two different subjects—don’t ask why I don’t know I just see my name on the schedule twice. Two of them (including Cherry) are extremely loud but also smart. Daniel looks like an anime baby and chubby Henry knows all the answers. There are also 2 “new friends” in that class (though they’re all new to me). One of them is Bonny. She’s 15 years younger than me…and I want to be her friend. She just radiates that “coolness” air I want to rub off on me. She wore a big black and white baseball hat backwards that said “Fly” on it and a tomboy yet somehow feminine outfit. She’s a new friend so she didn’t really know how the book worked yet after a bit I was walking around and noticed that she had everything filled in correctly—and beyond.

Anyway, Thursday is exactly the same except I teach my Ninas science instead of social studies and I teach my Santa Intensives something else I don’t remember the name of which is apparently the most boring subject and everyone feels sorry that I have to teach it.

At least I’ll have Gu Jun Pyo and Chris.


4 responses to “Of Proposals and Overachievers

  1. Pingback: of money | That One Time in Seoul·

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