And now I’m in the office at my Korean middle school. Good afternoon. I have some observations I would like to share with you. Pictured above is a man named Ham. He teaches technology and he told me that when I pick a wife I should select her based on the back of her head only, because that is mostly what you’ll be seeing in the bedroom as she gets older.
I’m very tired; staying vertical is proving difficult. I feel like a parade float losing helium. I’ve had enough coffee to wake the dead. But the students are definitely more tired. The clichés you hear of Korean parents ruthlessly pillaging every last second of their children’s free time in the name of academic competition are absolutely true. The students were young once, and alive. But tragedy and puberty come hand in hand here. Idealism totally disappears. A seventh-grade Korean student is a depressing sight. You feel sorry for them like they’re refugees. Still, they won’t answer basic questions in class, like they all make a blood pact right before I walk in that they will not say a word. This gets frustrating. Their silence sucks all the energy out of you. It makes me wish they all wore shock collars.
Lunch of kimchi and pork cutlet just concluded and Maroon 5 is playing in the hallways. Whenever I bow to a co-worker I imagine we are head-butting each other in slow motion. They would probably like to do it in fast-motion. Most of them don’t like me. I think they hate me because my job is so easy. It’s true, it is. I am paid to be white and speak English. English is my native tongue. I might as well have a job breathing or walking in a straight line.
At least Ham seems to like me. He actually just woke up from his nap and saw me inserting his photo into this post. There is really nothing in the world more awkward than that situation. But he just laughed. This is probably not the first time this has happened to him. I like working here.