Bright florescent lights, illuminating everything including my blemishes, and then DARKNESS! Yep, we had a black out yesterday. Unfortunately it was NOT from a dark, electrifying thunderstorm, rather electricians trying to fix electrical things beyond my comprehension. Why they were working on it while classes were in session, I don't know, I am not Korean, but what I do know is that the kids went wild. It was as if an insane zoo keeper had decided to unlock the cages to the caged animals. Lions, zebras, polar bears rolling on the floor in a giant heap.
I remember when I was a child in school, it was the best day if the lights went out. Most of the time it was because of a thunderous storm overhead which made it all the more frightening and exciting. Classes were canceled and we were taken to the auditorium to wait it out. But because there was no storm and the weather was relatively pleasant, slightly above freezing, we took the kids out to the soccer field to run off their pent up energy. Kids race, even a teachers race, and then duck duck goose. And of course the children had to point out my red nose. I don't know why a red nose in the cold outdoors is such a novelty to them or why they feel the need to always point it out. Even complete strangers feel compelled to inform me about my red nose, but it never fails, if my nose is red, a Korean will tell me, be it child, adult, Korean consulate, or complete stranger.
The sun began to set, and after classes were finished, many teachers gathered in the lounge, no lights, no TV, no electronics, nothing but our own sparkling personalities. From the short time we spent discussing in the dark, I can understand why people used to rise and fall with the sun, light is important, we can't see without it. How is it that we forget such simplicities, or maybe it is just me? It was interesting to be left without a plugged in box flashing images to entertain us. I sometimes wish that we could travel back to simpler days, like in the time of Jane Eyre, when they danced, told stories and put on plays to entertain each other in the evening. It is a nice change of pace from our typical zombie position, mouths hanging open, eyes unblinking, as the TV tells us what to do and think. It would be nice if we were occasionally forced to use our imagination, like we were last night for a few short hours. Ironically, imagination is something we are always encouraging with our Korean students who don't normally get encouragement to use their imagination, is something we often forget to utilize ourselves unless left with few other options. Necessity breeds invention.