From the BK to the SK
So, even after almost three months, there isn't much I can say in the classroom without having students (mostly girls) mimic my every word, literally mouthing along my words as I speak or following along out loud. For example, if I say something like, "All right...", it's as if I am in a cave, and there is an echo of "All right"'s that bounce throughout the room, coming from every which direction.
Monday isn't too difficult of a day until I get to my afternoon class of 2nd graders. The class is after lunch, so the students are virtually zombies. They are lower level, so they don't really speak any English and can barely understand me when I speak, and my co-teacher, well, let's call him "Rico". I know, funny name to give a Korean co-teacher, but the all he does reallynstand in the back of the classroom and gazes into the mirror, smoothing and coming his hair down like he is getting ready for Saturday night fever at Studio54 during the 70s. Seriously, the only thing he needs is one of those greyish disco suits with the black shirt underneath, leaving the top busttons unbuttoned, and a pair of clogs>and he could change his name to Rico Sauve. I swear sometimes I feel like there is constantly disco music playing in his head, and all he wants to do is dance.
Anyway, back to the point. So while Rico is in the back of the classroom, I am standing at the front, struggling to teach some pretty complex and boring material to students who don't understand me and just really aren't interested. Aside from maybe 3 boys that sit in the front, none of them really care unless I bring some candy.
But there is this one girl who sits right in the front in the third row, and from the first day I started teaching, she's just acted too cool for school. She stares me down, trying to intimidate me, acting like she's so tough. She'll pass me in the hallways without even making eye contact, again pretending as if she's just so over the American teacher.
But so today I am teaching, and she has this little smirk on her face and is looking up and me and down at a piece of paper on her desk, her hand moving swiftly, quickly and carelessly. I see her doing this two more time - 1uick movements with her highlighter, pretending to laugh and giggle a little, and just blatantly drawing a picture of me. For a second I wasn't sure what to do: She knew I knew, and I knew that she was doing it for attention. There was no way she was dumb enough to have that smirk and be so carefree with her drawing if she really intended to hurt my feelings. She was totally doing it for show.
But, I decided to go over to her. She played dumb, shoving the paper into her book, and I asked her two times to give me the paper so I can see what she was drawing. She was smiling, as if she wasn't sure what to do because the teacher just caughter her doing something bad. I am telling you, this girl was totally playing games. So I grabbed the paper and held it up for the class to see. I went to the front of the classroom, looked at it, put it beside my face and said, "Similar, yes?"
I am telling you, this picture was the most poorly produced insult I've ever seen. Totally verified my theory that she just wanted attention. It was basically just scribble that she did with a deliberate smile as if she was up to something that would be totally earth-shattering and heart breaking.
The class erupted in "No's", and so I flashed a big smile.
"I think! Very similar! So good at making pictures! Very beautiful. Thank you!"
The girl is sitting there, pretending to be embarrassed. I taped the picture to the front of the blackboard and kept it there for the rest of the lesson.
And if it was attention she wanted, I wanted to make sure she got it. Right before the bell rang, I called her out and asked her to stand.
"Thank you for my picture. Class, clap your hands for her. Such beautiful drawing." And so I had her stand there while we applauded her.
I swear if I had scissors and string, I would have made a mask and made the girl wear it.
All the while, Rico is completely unaware of what's happening, fixated on his appearance and dreaming of all nighters in a disco.

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