Archive for the ‘3rd grade boys’ Category

Belated 빼빼로 (Pepero) Day

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

I was standing in the hallway last week about to go to class when I hear “EMILY TEACHA!!!!” and footsteps thundering down the halls. I turn around and there’s one of the third grade boys, panting and out of breath.  I say hello, and he thrusts a box of Pepero in my face.

“Teacha! You know PEPERO Day?!”
“Yes, but Pepero day was in November?”
“I… no give Pepero. NOW today I give Pepero!” he beams.
“Oh wow, thank you” (I look down at the Pepero box – which might I add is half-opened. Pretty sure he was about to eat it when he saw me and then changed his mind). Not sure what to say now as Pepero is normally given either by same-sex friends to each other (normally girls) or by boys to the girls they like and vice versa. I was just given Pepero by an 18 year old boy… kind-of awkward. Then this third grader’s friend whose standing behind him chimes in.

Bell rings. I escape to class. The pepero was delicious.

EDIT: As I am sitting at my desk working on my winter camp lesson plans I just got a giant square of 덕 (deok Korean rice cake) from afforementioned student along with this note:

“to, Emily ~ <3
Hi, My name is Park-Sung-Girl~
um… bye bye ~ ^^

I love you ~ <3″

Pepero Day take 2

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Okay so even though today is Pepero Day I did not get a single box from my students, just one solitary box from a fellow teacher. Very sad :( . However I got something even better, a really nice compliment. I was standing at the bus stop ready to go home next to one of my favorite 3rd grade boy students (remember I teach high school – so in Korean high school a 3rd grader is the same as a senior in an American high school). He turns to me, puts his arm on my shoulder, and says “I have many English words but… I respect you. That is all.”

My bodyguard

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

My school is fairly small as far as high schools in Korea go, (but apparently pretty average for country schools), so there are 6 classes in each grade, 3 grades total, which makes for roughly 450 kids. As a result of having such a small number of classes per grade, I teach every single 2nd and 1st grader at my school… which actually only amounts to 12 classes and about 300 kids. Unfortunately I don’t teach any of the 3rd graders, because they are busy preparing for the really intense university entrance exam I mentioned earlier, but in November when they finish taking the test I will teach them which means I will be up to 18 classes, and I will have taught every single student at my school. Pretty cool.

Even though I don’t teach them, I still see and interact with the 3rd graders pretty regularly. The school building itself is actually pretty small and my desk is in the main 교무실 (teacher’s office) so I see them there, however most of my interaction with students is either walking to and from my classes or in the cafeteria. My student interactions tend to follow pretty specific patterns:

1) The relatively normal but extraverted student approach: EMILY HIIIII!/Hello Teacher!/Anyeongha-hehehe-hello!
2) The shy student approach: Me: “Hello!” Student: stares/giggles/runs away
3) The infatuated male student approach: EMILY TEACHER I LOVE YOU! (usually a really loud scream across a huge distance – either from across the hall/from the second floor balcony/across the caferia, etc) followed by some sort of heart-like gesture (arms over the head connecting to make a heart, heart with the hands, etc). This happens a lot more than you would think.

However, there is a specific group of 3rd year boys (5 of them) whose interactions with me don’t tend to fit into these categories, and I never quite know what to expect from them. I was walking outside away from the cafeteria back to the main building when I passed one of them. He immediately stopped what he was doing and positioned himself in front of me with his hand stretched away from me out in a defensive position and said “today – I am your bodyguard.” I laughed and said okay and we walked together for approximately 30 seconds before his friend came over to say hi to me, at which point my bodyguard for the day promptly starts yelling “BAD GUY!” and starts chasing after the guy trying to put him in a

This is my life.