Thursday, January 4, 2007

"wishing i could see myself, wishing i was someone else"

some of the english material we have to work with baffles the mind. Just nonsense I've never spoken in my 24 years of rambling. For people trying to learn the basics of the English language, its comical what is being thrown at them to repeat. Let me elaborate...a couple weeks ago I walk into the teachers lounge at the school, the director (picture a 65 yr old man) confronts me "what does 'peed' mean", I thought I heard him wrong, so I let out "what?", he repeats "PEED" and continues.. "I've been looking for it in the dictionary, but its not in here". Through a large smirk, I ask him where he heard the word (assuming, of course, he's gonna toss out the name of one of my students), he hands me a story which the children are doing a test on and the story unfolds that (keep your imagination here) Jim and John are stuck in a boiling pot of soup in which a cannibal has thrown them in with plans to eat them, it elaborates that at such a scary time, for some reason Jim is laughing. The conversation ensues, with John stating "how can you laugh at a time like this?" to which Jim responds "I just peed in the soup". After I got a hold of myself, I realized this respectable elder was still staring at me anticipating my clear definition of the word "PEED", there I was fumbling to explain, thinking do I demonstrate in actions urrr...suddenly I blurted "it means to go to the bathroom, the urinate way". What followed was quite a sight to behold: 3 Korean adults sitting around practicing their pronunciation of "Peed", like it can actually be said wrong!
speaking of which, yesterday I looked over a sheet my director is studying containing 30 or so english phrases to practice and learn, one of em read "speaking of girlfriends, is it true that you like heavy girls?". need I comment...,might as well teach the essentials!

in the first month I was here, I got lectured by my boss (the director's son) and what I painfully absorbed from his chopped english was.. to stop listening to music on my headphones between breaks and rather he wanted me out in the hallway practicing english conversations with the kids (understand, at this time, no other teachers or students in the entire school could hold a 30 second conversation with me, so I couldn't even explain to him that the main reason I listen to music is to maintain my sanity and not lose my mind). Very well, I could strut into the hall and corner one of the kids and slowly dictate "WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE SCHOOL TODAY?" and if they didn't stare back at me like I was a white person in South Korea, than they would do that and additionally scream and run away. anyway, coming back full circle, the reason I regurgitated this conversation is today I get into the passenger side of the guys car. I'm wondering whats taking him so long to get in, suddenly I notice him with a dry mop in his hand and he's wiping down dust from the entire exterior, guess he wanted his piece of shit '93 Hyundai to look like a new piece of shit '93 Hyundai for the 2min. ride we were going on. Eventually he satisfies this odd task and gets in. Then, he proceeds to put on headphones and presses play on his disc man attached to his belt, and I can hear it belting out some obnoxious bag pipe music/english news into his ears, and he starts driving, it was hilariously rude, but I couldn't help but chuckle at the hypocrite. To top it off, one of the other korean teachers told me later he listens to learn more english....well, well what the fuck is the 150lb ornament sitting beside him here for.

in teaching the kindergartens, I have a practice of going around and aiding each one individually, rather than attempting to control the group, I gave my shot at that and... fuck that's like trying to ride five raging bulls at one time, when we could all agree taking on one would be a hell of a feat. frequently while I'm yelling in one kids ear, some other kid will begin belting "aaron teacher, aaron teacher" and than continually repeating some Korean gibberish over and over, finally I always snap and look up "WHAT? god, stop speaking Korean, I'll be with you in a minute, I'm helping Shrek right now!" Than I'll always stop and notice the kid is grabbing their crotch and shaking..."oh washroom, yeah go ahead"

from the nature of my emails, I take it you all get the impression that I spend a good amount of my time here laughing, well the truth is, i do. but don't go judging me assuming its one way, there are laughs at my expense too. ex. yesterday, while eating on the floor at a restaurant, I began the common re-adjusting and stretching my back from pain, some Koreans caught sight and started howling. I did the only thing I know, gave em the thumbs up and said "Celine Dion is good, yes?"

No comments: