Friday update

Here I am back in my office for the 2-day work week after Chuseok holiday. There are many things to be happy about today even beyond having a 2-day work week. For instance:

— The weather is cool and very autumnal. Chilly in the shade and just warm enough in the sunlight. Perfect.

— The kiddos look so adorable in their winter uniforms – dress shirts and ties, and optionally a sweater vest (even for the girls). As of yet they aren’t mandatory since the weather is still shifting back and forth, but some of the students have been choosing to wear them over the short-sleeved summer uniforms.

— My cleaning crew are currently storming around the office, causing probably more chaos than cleanliness to occur, but I love their enthusiasm. This is probably my favorite 15 minutes of the day, especially on Friday because they are all filled with weekend cheer, unable to be squashed by my co-teacher’s mock severity.

One boy from one of my lowest level classes has taken to looking up words in the English-Korean dictionary. Today’s exchange:

“Teacher, g-i-f-t-s?” as he started flipping through the pages and reciting the alphabet to himself – “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…”

“Gifts,” I said.

“Gift… 선물?” (Sunmul is Korean for gift.)


“Ooh, I genius.” (turning to his partner in crime) “I genius, you… not genius.”

Another one (from my low level class) just ran through the office on his way to clean the connecting classroom and shouted “Curious!” as he went. (“I’m curious” was one of our key expressions in class today. As a teacher I absolutely love this. And as an observer I find it hilarious.)

One of the high level boys, who used to clean my office but has now been switched to a different cleaning duty, sometimes wanders through aimlessly holding a broom or dusting cloth and amicably fake-laughs: “Eh heh heh heh.” I have no idea why.

Then this:

“You very ug-uh-lee boy!”

They just finished and had exited the office when one of them bolted back in, in apparent fear for his life. The high level boy peeked his head in and said, “Safe, safe. Come here!”… followed a few seconds later by, “Outside is very dangerous.” What on earth is going on out there.

Have a safe and happy Friday, everyone.


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