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18 November 2004
South Korean Flag

KLB - Weird Game and Post Office Kitten

Today, while the A (youngest) class kids were busy making pictures of dogs and rabbits and listening to animal songs, Cathy came up to me and said, "Shawn! I have good idea for game for kids."

Me: (sitting at my desk) "Well, that's great, Cathy. Go right ahead."

Cathy: (flustered) "What? No, you have to play. You're the teacher."

Me: "The kids are busy, and quiet for once. What game?"

Cathy: "The students spin in chair and spell the word game? Let's play." (she then held her hands together against her chest as if she couldn't contain her excitement)

Me: "Um, what? I don't understand."

Cathy: "You're chair. The kids spell word and spin you chair. They don't spell, they can't spin."

Now, as I write this it finally dawned on me what she must have meant - I think. The kids would go to the board and try to spell animals such as cow and chicken. If they spelled a word right, they would sit in my chair and I'd spin them. Whoo hoo! Not a bad idea, I guess - but at the time, I had no idea what she was talking about and assumed she was out of her mind from too much decorating. So I said to her, "Cathy, I don't understand what you're talking about. The kids are spelling the animals above their drawings. We can put these on the wall for open-house day. They are quiet for once. Let's let them be."

"But it's game. The children love game."

"Yes, I know. That's why Friday is "game day." I don't understand the game you're talking about and the kids are working on something."

"Oh, OK." (dejected face)

"Why don't we play the game tomorrow. You can explain what you mean to them and I'll help."

"Oh, I don't know. You should with them."

"OK, sure, great. Sounds wonderful."

"Really? (face lit up again) "OK, the kids will game tomorrow!"

Cathy does have some good ideas, but half the time I don't know what's she's telling me and she doesn't seem too keen on explaining things to the kids, especially since she's not supposed to speak Korean anymore. Even when she does, she stands there like she has stage-fright and speaks in a barely audible voice.

I forgot to mention, and I should bring my camera tomorrow, that me and Julie walked down by the post office last night to look for the kitten. I walked around like a lunatic making cat noises and Julie and everybody looked at me like I was nuts. As we were about to give up, we heard it: "meowowk quakameow." It really sounds like a dying duck. We lured it out with more o-daeng and tried a few times to grab it, but to no avail.

Again today: I met Julie after work and had to run to the post-office again to send books (a few in Korea, another to Australia, and one to a hermit who lives in a hut in the middle the Boreal forest) and as soon as we walked by, the kitten meow-quacked. It (I say "it" because I still don't know the gender) must just hang out in the bushes in front of the post-office all the time. Another piece of o-daeng and a couple of mild attempts to snatch it. We probably could have today. It came right up to us and I was able to pet it a little. However, the reality started to set in: will it pee all over our apartment? Better yet, will it pee all over me as I carry it home? Do we really want to start buying kitty litter (which is expensive in Korea) and cat food all the time? Does it have a mother? Is the mother just out finding tender vitals? Also, the weather was nice today and the kitten had another good meal to hold her over while we think about it.

She looks a little plump actually. Maybe I'll just look for it whenever I go to the post office and give it more o-daeng if it's hungry. What a win-win situation. The o-daeng ajumma gets some money, the kitten gets some food, and I get a big warm happy feeling in my stomach knowing I've contributed to the welfare of a homeless kitten. I think I'll celebrate by writing a poem and painting a picture of happy trees and flowers.


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