Hey you

Anyong, Lindsay here again. Whit is being slow to blog. And, well, I always seem to have something to say. (Is that a good thing or bad thing? Upt. Don’t answer.)

So. Back when we were in English camp we had really small classes. Three or four students in each class. Whit and I got to know these students really well over those three weeks. We loved each and every one of them.
But two of our favorites were a set of always-smiling, always-matching fourth grade twins in the lowest level class. When asked their English name, one said Tom. The other boy never had one. Or didn’t remember it. Or didn’t understand my question. I was quick to name him Jerry, with a giggle from myself and from them. From that point on, they become Tom and Jerry.
They constantly smiled at me. Laughed at my jokes. Tried their hardest while we raced through shapes, sports, jobs, emotions, and greetings. They poked and prodded each other under the table, picking on one another as only twin brothers can do.
They were so cute that Whit and I often talked of taking them home with us. We loved them.
But we swore we had never seen them before. They must be new. Are you sure you don’t have them in your class? We both couldn’t remember ever seeing them. We convinced ourselves they were new students.

So as we have returned to an almost-normal school schedule (at least for this week anyway) we have been surprised to see which English camp kids were in our normal classes. But still. No Tom and Jerry.

Until today. Just as we were writing them off as students who just took advantage of the school’s camp, they paraded into my lowest level math class. A class I used to dread because of their bad behavior and low level. I had no idea I had been teaching them all semester. They simply smiled, giggled, and said, “Teacher! It’s us, Tom and Jerry!”

I probably sound like a terrible teacher. But I have just done the math. And have a good excuse.

In one week, we teach nearly 400 students. I don’t know any of their Korean names. (Though Whit knows a handful……overachiever…) I only know the English names of the really good ones who tell me I’m beautiful every day, laugh at my jokes, and raise their hands with enthusiam; and the ones who are so bad I want to throw them out the window.

So, I have reduced them into teams. On a plus side, I let them pick their own team names, no questions asked. So my students have come to be known as: Manchester United; Golden Water (pee? I wanted to ask); Harry Potter; Global City (I don’t know either); Firefighting Eagles; Mad Cows (a personal favorite); Lucky Seven; Four Ghosts (four is an unlucky number in Korea, much like 13 back home); and Tennessee.

This usually works better than Hey You. But they are certainly no stranger to that phrase either.


  1. John Boyle says:

    Gggggnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Funny stuff, Gnash! Good to see you’re not lumping all your students together…


  2. deborah says:

    Glad to see you are nicer in naming your students. Remember some of my nice names: dumb and dumber, and WB (whinny butt) —that’s my whole class this year!!!


  3. Cynthia says:

    Hello…My name is Cynthia and I’ll be moving to Gwangju this coming Wednesday! I have been reading your blog from Florida trying to familiarize myself with “life in Korea”. I love the stories and love the NUMEROUS pictures! They really painted a great portrait for me of what to expect.I just thought I’d say hello and ask you for any last minute tips/advice! I do apologize for leaving a message on your blog like this! =)


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