Mwa Mwa Mwa Mwa Mwaaaaaaaaaaa

Today was a good day. Today was a bad day. Or as my Korean students say about every day: It was just so-so.
Oh it started out wonderful. When enthusiastic little Gene who hops instead of walks finallly scored a perfect 100 on his Around the House vocabulary spelling test. He has been trying for months, studying with his mother every time I announce another test.
“Teacher! Teacher! Now can we play the months game?” He wanted to be rewarded by practicing more English. But I also let him run around his desk a few times. (Which he normally does 2 or 3 times per class despite my pleas to please. sit. down. Gene.)
Then I learned from sweet motherly Sally that the whole school is participating in a science fair tomorrow so they will not be in class. At all tomorrow. Later, when we asked for confirmation from a co-teacher (who really should have been the one to tell us in the first place…but that’s another story) we learned that we will be manning a booth. Whatever that means. Pictures will follow.
But it was my low-level sixth graders who took it upon themselves to see how far they could push me today. My co-teacher, who sat silently in the back of the room engrossed in who-knows-what, simply acted like she was one of my students when I started chewing them out, reminding them I came from across the world to teach them and this was how they are going to treat me? (Although what they probably understood of that was “I am mad. I am from America.”)
They had to write “I will respect my English teacher” about 100 times. They probably don’t know what respect means. But at least they were too scared to ask.
Finally. Silence ensued. Their curious eyes were even scared to look at me as I dared them to speak just one more word of Korean. Just. One. More.
My good friend Emily Witt who is now teaching in Colombia recently wrote a blog answering a reader’s question about whether work was ever just work in a foreign country. Emily, who writes like a muse (see it here), had only wonderfully poetic things to say.
But if you ask me. A snotty-nosed disrespectful kid in Korea is just like a snotty-nosed disrespectful kid in America. Some days work is work is work, even in a foreign land.
Only real difference I can see in today’s situation is that the Korean kids don’t hear the words. Instead, it’s something akin to the adults in Charlie Brown: mwaa mwa mwa mwa mwaaaaa.


  1. Summer says:

    Lindsay, you just crack me up! I wonder if I can assign college students to write “I will respect my journalism teacher” 100 times if they act up? Now being on the other side of education, I do feel bad for our behavior, especially in “Colonel” Rawls lab. Do you remember? We practically heard “Mwa Mwa Mwawaaaaaa” from him everyday. Or what about that time I wrote on my face with green ink because I was so sleepy, and I begged you to get it off, attracting the attention of the entire class. Yep, what goes around does come around.


  2. Brittany says:

    This is quite hilarious! All I am saying is you could take the Mr. Walls approach.Absolutely Nothing.We may not have learned anything in his class but we sure had a lot of fun.


  3. Emily says:

    So, I may write all poetic and such, but I’m not funny. You’re funny. Really. Stinking. Funny. And I wanna be funny. Another fantastic post, seriously, I loved it como siempre.


  4. Lindsay says:

    ahh! memories! I had forgotten about Colonel Rawls (Captain Disease) and the green ink. And of course Mr. Walls. Oh poor, old strange Mr. Walls. Maybe it would be more entertaining to take his approach.


  5. Brittany says:

    April 15th…Is there a such thing as income tax in Korea?


Comments are closed.