On being laughed at in Korea…

I woke up to John calling me at 10:00 this morning. For those of you that don’t know, John is my new boss here in Korea. He is the director of my new place of employment. I will work at a private English school on the 3rd floor of a large building across from a McDonald’s 4 blocks from my apt. The kids are cute, the logo has a lion on it and the school mascot is a mini poodle named, Coco. John wanted to know if I could come to school to “meet about the schedule” at 11:30 so I quickly ate breakfast and headed over. Shortly after a very incomprehensible conversation resulting in my understanding that I would be giving a “presentation” to a kindergarten school to generate more business for the school, I was lead around the corner to said school.

There is something indescribable about two people talking about you while you are sitting in front of them quietly drinking green tea while wearing borrowed slippers. Koreans don’t wear shoes in the house – ever. If you go to someone’s home, they give you slippers, if you go an office building, they give you slippers. The floors can be scuffed to all hell and they still want you to take off your shoes. Mom, you’d love it here! So here I sit, and here they talk occasionally asking me about my educational background or teaching experience. Eventually the principal from the kindergarten school brings in her translator, who happens to be her maybe college-age daughter, Sujong. Thank heavens for Sujong! The four of us then begin our tour of the school where I am paraded around like a circus clown to the laughter and amusement of 5 year old Korean children whose only English extends to “hello” and “bye bye.” They all jump towards me and want to shake my hand, one even makes a slanted eye gesture to Sujong while laughing. Great fun is had by all. After the tour is completed John and the principal continue their talks and some unintelligible scribbling on the back of an envelope while I sit, ignorantly smiling and nodding my head. Bottom line, I will do six 25-minute “presentations” to six different kindergarten classes in hopes of generating business for John. Curriculum to be determined by yours truly. This was a day to go down in the record books. One thing is for sure – I love teaching!


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