Monday, August 1, 2011
It's the end of my second day in the last week of camp this summer. It's hard to believe that after Friday, the next time I teach a group of students will be in September in a different country on a different continent.
Anyway, I'm trying to make the most of my last week, so today we began as we have the last two Tuesdays with our refidgerated water balloon toss. Students not participating in the current round sit on the nearby steps of the front door and cheer-on their team mates. Naturally, this produces some sounds of joy and surprise.
There is a gentelman who works at my school, but who would also fit quite well in an underground lair or in the vast cavernous expanse of an extinct volcanic island. He mostly spends his time wandering the hallways with a sense of vampyric authority, and the only times he deals with me directly are when it's time to figure-out English camp budgets. During such times, he won't make eye-contact with me, but will refer to me only as "way-gook" (foreigner) as opposed to "won-a-min sun saeng nim" (Native Speaking Teacher) while speaking to my co-teacher about why I can't be trusted to carry the school's credit card, myself, when I'm attempting to shop on my own free time for camp supplies. He will often move away from the conversation only for a moment to sigh, look out his barred window on the first floor, and methodically spray his houseplants, only because he lacks a cat to methodically stroke.
So, today, he parks his car right beside my students during the water balloon toss, gets out, and motions for me to move out into the middle of the field because we are being too loud...
1) We are the only class in the school this week as the extra summer classes finished last Friday. That's me and 15 students.
2) For every day of the school year, weather permitting, for 4 of 6 periods a day, the school yard is filled with 90+ students participating in their PE classes. This means a yard full of students who yell and scream and sing at the top of their lungs. It's deafening in any room of the school as ours is designed with each classroom's windows facing out onto the school yard. This is a daily norm during the semester and nobody says a thing.
3) There is daily construction on the new school gymnasium - still going on despite the rain. This involved welding and jackhammers.
Somebody's being a grumpy pants.
So, today I stood with a whole class watching me get treated like a second class citizen by the school's resident chief of the fun police... and I had a full and refridgerated water balloon in my hand. You tell me what happened next.