My homeroom class for this past two week camp were walking zombies, lifeless, and without spirit. Having a discussion with them was like banging your head against a brick wall, dull and painful. One of the little girls Sally would continually chat with her friends in Korean but when spoken to in English she wouldn't respond even if spoken to directly with clear body language in case she didn't understand the English words, which I know she did.
Me: Sally, you need to pay attention
( she would nod her head and five seconds later would continue to talk as if I were not in the room)
Me: Sally, mouth closed (squeezing my lips in a duckbill position)
Sally: (blank stare, no smile, no deviousness, no reaction just blankness)
Me: Sally, you need to move closer to the computer screen. ( motioning with my hands)
Sally: shakes her head
Me: yes Sally. Please move now. (gesturing with a hand to the location I wanted her to sit)
Sally: (no sounds come from her mouth, but she continues to shake her head in refusal)
Me: Yes Sally, 5, 4, 3, 2...
Sally: (She would get up at the sound of my counting. I will never understand the power of counting. I haven't said what will happen if I reach 1 and in fact I don't know myself, but counting always works with kids, it is really ingenious!)
In the mornings we taught rotating classes about South Africa. Other classes being taught were India, Wales and USA. The first day we had our homeroom class whom were named debonair, the next day, Terrific class- the lowest of the sixth grade classes, the next day lovely and so on and so on.
Terrific class was Tyler's class next door to us, who made our class of deadpan sixth graders look like a bunch of rowdy geniuses and just happened to be the class we were always paired up with.
Terrific class had girls who liked to giggle and whose favorite response was "I don't know" in a high pitched voice with a flick of the head in an attempt to avoid a confrontation by being cute. One boy Dahoe, always had a mischievous look in his eye, while John, a small and continually confused boy, who we are sure didn't have all of his marbles in the right order was also an added addition to this motley crew. After two weeks he still couldn't answer, what my name was. The Korean boys said he had a bad memory.
On the day we spent three hours teaching Terrific class about South Africa, Tyler asked them once they arrived in homeroom what they had learned about South Africa. They stared at him blankly. Finally John said, "Africa?" After three hours of South Africa lessons, they didn't remember anything. After that day John loved to answer all questions with "Africa!" despite the fact that 90 percent of the questions he was answering had nothing to do with Africa. He could be answering the question, "What is a castle?" "Africa!" "No John, that is not the correct answer."
Can you imagine these two classes being paired up? Once combined it was as if a giant energy vacuum had come through the classroom and sucked out every last particle of energy from the room, creating a negative balance of energy. Silence and dead air hung in the room like a bad odor. After our experience with forcing them to sing "haru, haru" an all Korean song, our expectations of this week's talent show was low, very low, one might even say below zero. If they didn't perform anything we honestly wouldn't have been surprised.
So we told them that Friday was a talent show and they needed to figure out what they were going to do for the performance. As always they had broken into an all girls table and an all boys table. (Coming within three feet of a member of the opposite sex might infect one with a disease far beyond the reaches of cooties, far more contagious in fact that it is considered air born and they must stay far enough away as to not pass it through breath) Of course they insisted on having a boy act and a girl act. We, Tyler, Joy and I did not care, as long as they did something. The girls decided they would sing two songs. "Great!" we said. The boys however, came up with something even more creative, they would have a fashion show! "What a fantastic idea!" That means they didn't have to speak, all they would have to do was wear clothing and prance down an aisle. Of course the following day after speaking with their friends, it was a determined a stupid idea, but we told them it was too late to change. They insisted that they wanted to sing a song like the girls, but after they stood as straight as statues on the stage during the TV talent show, refusing to move their lips in a fake singing movement, we outright refused! Fashion show and that was final.
Here is the fashion show video!
You may notice that many of the boys are wearing my clothes and even some of Kyle's clothes that were packed in our combined suitcase.
John is the boy in orange dress number and he was probably the best runway model of the entire group. It was such a success, the girls in the audience screamed at the boys as if they were truly models. The girls in the class disappeared into the background while they sang a perfect fashion show song, while all the boys had to do was dress in silly outfits walk down an aisle and look cool. (Amigo by Shinee is the song in the video in case you are interested)
Here are some of the other videos from the talent show of other classes. Some of them were very talented.
A note about this video below: The first girl you see in this video was the alpha female. She took charge of this talent show performance, choreographing this entire dance. It was quite humerus seeing her in this role and watching the teachers sit back and let her.