This past Sunday (May 15th) was Teacher's Day, which was quite a different experience this year here at the public high school.
As you may recall, last year at the hagwon I was showered with gifts. Tteok, a big ass jewelry box, cards, candy, cake, soap, flowers...you name it, I got it.
This year, however, I got a card from my star student, Dayoon, and a package of throat candies, with a hilarious letter from Jong Hyeok, one of my boys. It reads:
"Hi Madeline. I'm 종혁. I'm your student. Hmmm.....Your not cute, not pretty. But you intelligence ok? Whatever! (^^) Ha Ha Ha. I see that you watched Glee. I watched too Glee. I am Glee fan. Glee is my energy. What is your favorite character? My favorite character is Quinn and Rachel is last. I like you teacher and please like me ok? HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY".
Looks like someone was creeping on me during my midterm desk warming Glee marathons. WHOOPS.
For the record, my favorite characters are Sue MOTHEREFFIN Sylvester, of course:
Jane Lynch, comedy goddess
I was going to end this post in a huff of indignation at the lameness of my student's generosity/lack thereof. However, the North Koreans saved my Teacher's Day.
I've continued to tutor the six North Korean university students I have been seeing once a week...I saw them for the fourth time yesterday. About halfway into the lesson, Chung Hyuk, the students with the best English in the class, stood up and said, "Teacher, you know, yesterday was Teacher's Day. If it okay with you, we would like to have small party."
They gave me carnations:
My personal favorite of the bunch (Iknowteachersaren'tsupposedtohavefavorites I AM SO BAD)-- Sung Hoon--gave me a single long-stemmed rose.
There were also cards: which said, very simply, "Thank you, teacher. We love you."
My amazing friend Andrea (a lecturer at the University of Seoul who is my personal hero/who arranges a bunch of events for all kinds of North Korean charities in/around Seoul) showed up ten minutes later, and we relocated to her office for cake (purchased by the students) and coffee. It was the best and it made me feel so special^^