Popular Posts

Google+ Followers

10 February 2004
South Korean Flag

Korea Life Blog - Windy (1)

I finish my last elementary kids classes at 6:40. My adult class starts at 7:10. During that 30 minutes I sometimes run down to the Chinese food restaurant below and eat fried rice. Sometimes I run across the street to my apartment and pace. Other times, like today, I hang out in the office, twiddle my thumbs, read the Korea Herald, use the computer, all the while hoping none of the adult students show up. It happened once before, not a single one came. I wished it never did because ever since, I've waited for it to happen again.

Adult students are very inconsistent. They see a sign one day and suddenly feel excited about studying English again, just as somebody else gets enthusiastic about returning to the gym. At first they attend class every day. Then they start missing now and again. Eventually, sure enough, they quit altogether. It's understandable, though. They work long hours. They're busy. They're tired. I only have 2 students who have lasted the past 5 months since the class began. (Now that I'm writing this, I wish I had kept a journal since then - there has been a real cast of characters).

The consistent students: Windy and Stan. Windy is an ajumma - she's married and has two children both of whom I teach at the hagwon. Stan is her coworker. He's 32, handsome, single. He's very nice actually, and he drives a sports car. He can't find a date. If any girl is interested, let me know.

[Update: I got e-mails from girls in the states interested in meeting him, hahahaha.]

Windy is in love with English. She has traveled many places and wants to see more. She's studied English for the past 3-4 years almost incessantly. She's studied with a private teacher, at various hagwons, with study groups, with me, and everynight at home...she can't get enough. And that's the problem. In class she never shuts up with her sputtering, stuttering English. At first I found it annoying. But then I realized it has its benefits, two in particular. 1 - It takes a lot of pressure of me to fill time teaching. 2. It makes new students, those who can't speak well, feel uncomfortable causing them to quit. (This is good for me because if my boss had his wish, I'd have 20 adults in one class.) So, usually, I let her talk until her heart's content.

Well, I don't want to recount every detail of every class, so let's skip ahead until tonight. There's been more than one occasion where every student has failed to come except Windy. Honestly, one on one with her for 50 minutes is a stop short of hell. I'd rather have every student show up. Tonight, once again it happened. 7:10, no students. I felt giddy. A few more minutes passed precariously. Then, alas, just when I thought I could go home, in she wobbled, smiling as always, that wretched, relentless, oblivious smile. Windy! Argh!

The most annoying part is that when this happens, she feels proud. No other students shown up, but she did. She smiled at me as if I should also be proud. Painfully I feigned enthusiasm. "Yes, wow! You're so predicatable!" She had no idea what I really thought - that I'd rather teach a monkey. One time she went so far as to suggest I make a certificate showing her near perfect attendance record. In my mind I imagined a certificate: "Most Annoying Student!"

Without a choice I sat and listened to her for 50 long, boring, tiring, aggravating minutes. I suffered quietly through every uneventful moment of her long, boring weekend. I hope the other students show up tomorrow.


Post a Comment