Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Disaster not avoided (at all!)

Walking out of the auditorium with 10 waggling Russian children high from the spirit of theater practice on an actual stage, I stagger towards the sunlight blinded by it's ferocity. The spirals of radiant light penetrate my bat-adjusted eyes so much more mercilessly after being enclosed in a cave like space I couldn't be sure of what my eyes were transmitting.
A crowd of Russian students hovered around the fountain like seagulls going in for the steal of breadcrumbs. I wanted to avert my eyes and avoid what looked like what might be a scene brewing as I was tired from yelling at my students to stop acting like monkeys while practicing their play. All I desired was my ten minute break. Just ten minutes. But then I saw it. I couldn’t tell if what I was seeing was an illusion from the sudden brightness of light or reality. One of the girls in the group we call “the glam girls” (nicknamed such for the way they dress and are constantly modeling as if anyone of us might take out our camera and start snapping away) stood in what appeared from a distance, her bathing suite next to the pond surrounding our miniature version of the Statue of Liberty in the middle of the courtyard. As if repelled by an opposing end magnet my exhaustion told me to run; run far far away and not look back, but my conscious dragged me kicking and screaming towards the scene.

It turned out that she was not in her bathing suite, but in her bra and underwear holding her dress in front of her. Her hair dripping with fountain water, her face hard, stoic even.

Baffled at this unexpected soap opera, I asked what happened.
"He pushed me in!" she exclaimed tears, whether true or no poured down her face. I followed her index finger pointing to a blond headed boy lounging smugly on the bank of the pond. (I don't really know what to call the water surrounding the statue as it stagnant so isn't actually a fountain, but it isn't a natural enclosure so it really isn't a pond either.) I took my sweater off, put it around her shoulders and walked her back towards the dorms.

The truth (or what we could gather): The two are in the high level class. They either love each other ardently and don't know any other way of expressing love except through vicious fighting, or they hate each other with the vehemence of a cobra and a mongoose and want to see each other die a long painful death, preferably by the other's hand. Simply said, they haven't stopped bickering and battling since they arrived in Korea. This particular feud ended with a punch in the face to the boy, and a splash in the statue of liberty pond. How her dress came completely off, I don't know, nor will I probably ever know. What I do know is that their punishment was to help clean dishes in the cafeteria. And despite the girl's insistence that she didn't deserve this kind of treatment for only a punch, the dishes were clean the next day and there wasn't anyone standing naked in the middle of the courtyard for all to gawk at. We shall see what tomorrow holds. One thing is for sure, these Russians sure are entertaining.

Pictures as promised!
(disclaimer: non of the girls in the pictures are in the story above)

This girl is what I imagine Russians looking like. (The girl in white in the back is in my class. She is very cute and enthusiastic)

These two lovely ladies are calm collected, but always participate. It is an interesting mix for I normally don't find all of those qualities in my students at the same time.

My boys who are always laughing.

My Peter Pan in the play. Look at the length of her hair.


Anonymous said...

You guys are getting a good dose of teaching. I continue to laugh as so much of what you encounter is similar to new teachers in our schools here. Hang in there!

Uncle Tim

Annie said...

Very interesting reading and just proves to me how little I know of So. Korea. I would have never guessed that there is a Russian community there.