Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category


Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Club class was cancelled today, so I was sitting at my desk with plenty of extra time when one of my favorite students, EC, came over. EC and I have a great relationship. Unfortunately, what I wrote about her last year still holds true; she’s being pushed way too hard by her father and other teachers, but for right now she’s doing okay. Actually, she’s doing more than okay – she got the top score out of the entire second grade on the mock test. Academically she’s swell, but I still worry.

EC and I have a notebook exchange going on right now. She keeps a journal where she writes about various subjects, and I edit it and sometimes write short letters back. In that journal I taught her the expression “burning the candle at both ends” and cautioned her to makes sure she gets enough rest.

She dropped by my desk with a can of plum juice. A handwritten note and a tiny purple flower were taped to the can.


“달개비 – (닭의장풀)

It’s name was derived from the fat that it usually grows in a nearby henhouse. 닭의 – a chicken’s, 장 – cage, 풀 – weed.

닭의 -> 달괴 -> 달개

I happened to recognize this flower’s name few days ago and it was a really cool experience. Before knowing the name, I regarded it as a weed. It didn’t mean something special for me. never did it. However, the only fact that I recognize the name of it changed my mind and made me repeat it’s name, 달개비, 달개비, 달개비… now I believe that knowing something’s name has power that makes somebody think of it and attracts others to remember itself. I’m glad that I know not only your name but also how you’re nice, wonderful, and important to me.”

While reading this, I started to tear up in the teacher’s office. As a teacher, you come to terms with the fact that you are probably way more attached to your students than they are to you. I look back on my time in elementary, middle, and high school, and I feel guilty about how I didn’t recognize how much work my teachers did for me. I know I was a good student, and I know teachers liked me, and while I liked them I rarely ever interacted with them outside of the classroom on purpose. It’s always wonderful when a student reaches out to you.

Em in Asia! 2013-03-07 00:21:56

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Positive – I now have over a thousand “flowers” (words) on Memrise.

Dashboard   Memrise

Negative – this is what happens if you don’t study for a few days.

Teacher’s Day

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Today is Teacher’s Day, which means that unlike childrens’ day (where children don’t have to go to school) we go to school and do our thing as per usual. However, since I arrived this morning there have been random bursts of song coming from various classrooms, cakes produced out of thin air, and flowers arriving in the teacher’s office. Probably the cutest thing I’ve seen today was when a bunch of male third grade students came back into the second grade building to give their old homeroom teacher a present.

First period I taught 2.2, and they were very sad because they had bought their homeroom teacher a cake, but though he was very flattered he wanted them to eat and enjoy it and so wouldn’t touch any of it. They then asked me if I wanted some, and I tried to give them the same reasoning that their homeroom teacher gave them, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we finished class 10 minutes early and ate cake. Then fourth period I taught 2.4 who told me it was Teacher’s Day (but didn’t wish me a happy Teacher’s Day) and when I asked if they got something for their homeroom teacher they responded “no,” so it’s not all cuteness and cake over here.

Neither American nor  Korean education is perfect, but in my opinion if there’s one thing that Korea does unequivocally better it’s acknowledging and respecting teachers. From my experience this is shown internally (how students and teachers interact, how the administration deals with teachers) and on a broader scale (in terms of salary and prestige being a teacher is a highly sought-after job).

So, to all my fellow teachers out there, happy Teachers Day!