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Annyonghi gaseyo, kids

My second class of the day, the oldest kindergarten students at my hagwon (well, one of two such classes), graduated on Friday. In front of a reasonably crowded auditorium they got up and recited the speeches I’d written for them – or rather, the edited, shorter versions my Korean colleague had given them. They were also each given an award – the awards having been invented by me. The Korean teacher doing the announcing had some trouble getting her tongue round ‘Most Meticulous’.

At one point, she also stopped because she was getting tearful. One man in the audience started clapping her and a few others joined in. This guy’s applause was very loud and slow, so it actually sounded like an insult. As far as I know, this teacher doesn’t even teach any kindergarteners, although she seems to have some administrative role. A couple of the other teachers (female, Korean ones – just thought I’d point that out) also started crying.

The kids had memorised their speeches pretty well, although there were some inevitable pauses. They were dressed in their uniforms and capes and mortar boards. After the ceremony, my two favourite students had their parents take photos of me with them.

This week I haven’t had any class in the same timeslot, which means I can go home early for a really long lunchbreak. First thing, though, I have a class of six girls. This is made up of the two non-Helen students I had previously and the girls from a large unwieldy class across the corridor. It’s not too bad, I suppose, but I’m not really doing the class any justice because I lack the energy and the will to care.

On the plus side, this is my last week of kindergarten. I hope I’ll be teaching some of my newly-old kindergarten students in my new schedule next week.

Categories: Employment
  1. Drew
    28 February 2007 at 11:51 am

    “One man in the audience started clapping her and a few others joined in. This guy’s applause was very loud and slow, so it actually sounded like an insult.”

    Different cultures appear to have different clapping traditions. We went to the opera in Budapest. At the applause the crowd clapped forever, presumably indicating their approval. However they all clapped very very slowly, in perfect unison… like a bunch of clapping robots who’s batteries had run down. It was rather odd. And so it sounded like they were all taking the piss. But apparently that’s just how they clap over there.

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