3.1 Spring 2021

July 2, Happy Friday

Today was a good student day. The kids were at turns funny and touching.

Fifth grade was a standout with comedic timing absolutely on point. They had to write their own self introduction which they enjoyed, because who doesn’t love talking about themselves, and then they had to interview four classmates.

I also used my own details as an example for the self introduction. The kids were either amazed that I plan to go surfing this summer, or intrigued that I take Korean classes on the weekend, or shocked by my age. Clever girls in 5-2 commented, “29! It’s so young!” Yes, I told them. Young! They also offhandedly commented that they were 12 years young, not old. Honey, I think that goes without saying.

The most energetic boy in 5-1 asked if he could present his introduction one more time.

“It’s not me, Yungmin. It’s my twin, Ungmin.” He even drew a fake mole on his hand. I let him present again though the script was remarkably similar to his “brother’s”… the whole class got a kick out of it, myself included.

At least seven 5-4 kids gathered around me while I setup to ask about class and chat. I had them read the interview worksheet for practice which they liked since they were getting a “secret preview”. They didn’t realize I was just making them practice more. Ha!

My troublemaker Sungbin in 5-2 made a bird sound in place of an answer when I questioned him about his writing. I paused and looked at him while his female counterpart burst out in laughter. Those two are always messing with each other but she keeps him in line when necessary.

Another boy who finished all the interviews first received a sticker and a moment later, after I had answered questions from a swarm of boys, came back without his glasses to ask for a sticker. It was pretty clever and I laughed out loud, to my own surprise.

The fifth graders were so impossibly cute today that I almost couldn’t stand it. My clever babies!

On my way out of lunch, one fourth grade girl in a purple jumpsuit asked in Korean why I didn’t come to school yesterday.

I bent down to hear her add, “were you sick?”

“Yes, but I’m all better now.” I paused, then asked, “did you miss me?”

She nodded shyly.

Yesterday was the test day at the hospital so I didn’t see most of my fourth graders. Everything was a breeze and I followed Helen’s advice to speak only English.

I ended up speaking Korean later to the nurse, she had already essentially felt up my entire upper torso for the various heart tests anyway so might as well be familiar.

She was surprised but since she had spent half the appointment speaking English, and I saw her joining heads with other nurses across the room to look up translations on their phone before talking to me, she understood the level of medical Korean I could absorb.

The staff even moved my last appointment, scheduled for hours later, between my two morning appointments so that I could finish everything early. I made it back to my apartment before noon but as I had already gotten permission for a full sick day, which requires the scary principal’s approval, I just rested at home. And by resting I mean cleaned my house and caught up on my dramas.

The only victim was my skin which has been peeled raw by the 3M electrode tape. I had to wear a shirt buttoned all the way to my neck so no one saw the red welts and asked if I secretly went to the beach.

It was a very easy and surprisingly enjoyable two days, and a good start to the last month of the semester. If only the kids could be this cute everyday!

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