Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Funny Thing That Happened to Me at Work: Judith Teacher

I've been at work for two full weeks now. This is my first full week of teaching, and there have been lots of hilarious encounters and awkward moments with my new students. IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK, miming like an idiot and speakin' sloooooowww English-ee. Seriously though, it is nice to be actually teaching now, instead of idling away time observing, which is what a lot of my first week was spent doing.

Not to imply I was bored--on the contrary, I was (and still am) rather caught up playing Detective with my new co-workers/students, figuring out as much as I can about the mysterious foreign teacher whom I replaced, Judith.

I didn't get to play this game at Swaton: I got to meet/pester the hell out of the teacher I replaced at my old hagwon before I took over his job. Knowing nothing about Judith has been
a) a blessing: I can't make any presumptions based on another person's opinion about the school, can't compare myself to her, ect.
b) a curse: I don't know any insider gossip/tips/tricks about teaching high school students/co-teachers, ect.

But it certainly makes figuring out things about her a lot more fun.

Based upon my snooping--and the fact that I now live in the same apartment she occupied for a year--this is what I know about Judith Teacher:
1) She was British, evidenced by
a) the kids saying "zed" instead of "zee"
b) the massive LONDON poster dominating the Eastern wall of my new classroom

2) She hated saying hello to kids in the hallways, according to my co-teacher

3) She was "fat and ugly" according to one of my classes (ouch). "Judith Teacher, not good looking...Madeline Teacher wins," elaborated one student. To be fair, the kids will probably be saying this about me around this time next year

4) She was a wino, based upon the six corkscrews I found in the kitchen of my apartment

5) She either
a) lived with a man with size 11 feet
b) was a mutant freak of a woman with a penchant for ugly brown shoes

6) Hated cooking, based upon the complete lack of cooking supplies in my kitchen

7) Smoked indoors, based upon the faint wiff of cigarette smoke still faintly evident in my apartment, every time I enter

8) Enjoyed the white noise of the crinkling of straight-from-the-store, vinyl-wrapped mattress beneath her as she slept (sorry Judith, wrapper has since been removed)

9) Owned a buttload of clothes--there must have been at least a hundred hangers waiting for me in my wardrobe

10) Didn't really care that all of these clothes were wrinkled, as there was no iron to be found in my apt

11) Likes James Blunt, as she left a DVD of his music videos behind. Or does that fact that she left them mean that she actually hated James Blunt? In any case, she definitely had an opinion about James Blunt/James Blunt's music videos

12) Drank A LOT of tea, as the two mugs that were left in my cabinets are unbelievably tea stained:


13) Hated Korean food, as all of the Korean teachers at my school are amazed at my chopstick skillz/my love of kimchi/rice

14) Bought a lot of Korean cosmetics, as my medicine cabinet was/is loaded with the free samples Korean cosmetic counters give to you en masse every time you buy

15) Gave candy away in class, because bunches of my kids have been begging me for it all week long

I've thought about trying to find Judith on facebook, but truthfully, I don't want to. IT WOULD RUIN THE GAME


  1. yesss! look at your detective skills ... soo impressive!

    let's hope fat and ugly indoor smoker judith never reads this. ha.

    glad to hear you're settling in!
    miss you xo

  2. I bet Ed-teacher got to play this game when he replaced me. Shit, my kids called me fat to my face. At least I wasn't ugly...