3.1 Spring 2021

March 23, Settling In

“Teacher, we love you!” Three girls of 6-1 claimed as they suddenly back hug tackled me in the hallway.

I then proceeded to act like a quarterback and stomped my feet down in order to trip them. They had fun trying to slide me down the hallway.

On top of being really sweet, this was something reminiscent of the Before Times. I like to think it’s a mark that things might be returning to some sense of normalcy.

My sixth graders are overall affectionate and clever. Today I taught 6-2 “glamping”. I really love 6-4 and 6-2 for the supportive and engaged homeroom teachers and 6-1 for their wild affection.

Luckily, the more trying fifth grade was before sixth grade since the class of Mr “Can I Hang Out In The Lounge” arrived late to their own class and spent several minutes trickling in and chatting in the back. There was no homeroom teacher to corral them and clearly they were also not well trained.


We worked it out and I told them in the end about arriving on time. I passed their teacher in the hallway on the way out but was too annoyed to tell him to get his class in order. Helen keeps asking if the homeroom teachers stay, with a glare that says if they don’t she’ll bring the hammer down on them.

I don’t want to be a tattle and moreso I’m an adult that should fight her own battles. If that fifth grade class can’t get it together by next class, I’ll talk to their teacher myself. Most classes are well trained and don’t need the homeroom teacher to be present which is a small point of pride for me, though I do love the few who are involved!

One fifth grade teacher even asked me after class to clarify pronunciation of “jiu jitsu” since I said jiu as “joo” instead of “jee oo”. I love that she not only was engaged in the lesson for her students but was comfortable enough with me to ask.

At lunch Jack once again told me about bananas. This was clearly a formative memory for him since he’s recounted his first banana experience with such nostalgia on at least three separate occasions.

I would like to buy him bananas as a gift but the feeling isn’t quite right. He likes to remember the days when one banana cost a dollar and only rich people bought them on a regular basis. I don’t think I can produce that experience for him with a sack of cheap Emart produce.

I thought after a day of back hugs and bananas I’d be able to have a quiet evening of cleaning and Korean class but a knock at 6pm brought my… landlord?

He showed me the shiny new sink pipe in his hand.

“I… thought you already fixed it?”

“A little,” he replied, crouching in the bathroom using my shower shoes.

The bathroom sink now leaks after his unnecessary repair so… once again I’ll be hosting him.

He did ask what laundry detergent I’m using then urgently pointed out it was wrong. There is apparently a different formula for a top loading washer versus a front loading washer that’s (seems) so severe I might as well have caused catastrophic plumbing failure.

I never knew about this so RIP to my washer in Seoul…

To be honest, it’s really difficult to make Korean plumbing worse so I’m not worried! The road to hell is paved with Korean bathrooms!

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