Friday, July 2, 2010

Two Incidents . . .

In which the Longhead proves she's every bit the dumb-ass everyone suspected she was.

1. We had 'speaking tests' this week. For the little kids, that means I wait in the hall with the class while one by one the kids go in and The Princess administers the test and when they're done they stay in the classroom. After the test, the kids are supposed to sit at their desk and read their English book. Theoretically, all this should happen in a quiet, orderly fashion.

The reality is that unmitigated chaos slowly filters from the hallway into the classroom. At first I resisted this set-up. It just seemed inappropriate to me that the kids should be allowed to jump off desks, climb the bookshelves, fight, run screaming down the halls, etc.

However, since I've been here, I've learned that what I think is often complete and utter non-sense and what the Korean teacher wants is brilliant and flawless and what always gets done in the end anyway, so why fight it?

So, I let the kids run wild in the halls. After about thirty minutes of anarchy, I learned that sometimes what one Korean teacher wants and what another, scarier, more athletic teacher wants can be quite different and that maybe I shouldn't throw out common sense along with everyday normal thinking.

I couldn't see her approach because I didn't have my glasses and anyway, two of the kids and I were in the middle of a very important cultural exchange. They were teaching me a game where you wave your arms around wildly until someone yells stop. Waving your arms around wildly until someone yells stop is serious business.

Scary, athletic teacher basically ambushed me and started yelling at the kids. Five minutes later she stalked away satisfied and I peeled myself off the wall where I was hiding. I guess she's not going to be friending me on facebook anytime soon.

2. Despite my utter failure during testing round number 1, testing round number 2 went ahead as planned, naturally with a little bit of extra supervision. Mr. Giggles has a different speaking test style. Instead of the randomness of moving from the hallway into the classroom, he just has them all wait in the classroom and one by one they come out to the hallway, I give them the test, write their score on the roll sheet and they go back in.

Mr Giggles came out periodically to make sure the students and the numbers on the roll sheet matched.

'She is number 6, correct?'
'Yes, she is number 6.'

After the third time I started feeling the imbecile treatment was uncalled for. I got a B+ in physics for chrissakes. Surely I can handle writing a score by a number without the universe unraveling.

'Is number 17?'
'Yes! Is number 17!'

He stopped checking on me.

Just to prove to myself that I was not a complete fuck up, I asked number 23 if she was in fact number 23.

'No.' she said, 'I number 24.'
'What? Not number 23?'
'No. I 24.'
'Shit.'

I was pretty sure girl 23/24 was just delusional. I waited till the next girl came out.

'You're number 24?'
'What?' She looked confused, 'I number 25!'

I alerted Mr. Giggles. It took him 20 minutes into his lunch break to figure it all out.

It could have happened when he told me something about number 19. I thought he was saying number 19 wasn't here, so I drew a line through that row.

'No, no, no, no!' He said. I didn't get it. He started telling me something about number 20. I drew a line through it also.

'No, no, no, no!' He said, 'Is here, just leaving early! They go first.'

'Oh.' I said doing my best to imitate what a human being with listening skills should look like.

Anyway. I'm pretty sure somewhere along the line one of the students lied to me about their number. Through no fault of my own, someone's test score is irrevocably fucked up. Someone really should have been supervising me.

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