Brief Respite

Fri Oct 3, 2003

It’s a long week-end because today is a public holiday, ‘foundation of Korea day’ I believe. I’ve just slept for twelve hours trying to shake off a bad headache but unfortunately I woke up with it. Oh well, nuff said on inane health issues.

Yesterday was the annual “Speech Contest”, an event we’ve been preparing for weeks, jumping on the kids to learn their speeches. The winner gets a money voucher and a chance to compete at the school headquarters championships. It went ok, except for Debbie getting all riled up and ragging on us for practicing with the wrong classes in the morning. Everyone was miffed about that since she never reminded us about it in the last teacher’s meeting, it’s her fault. Well, how can you argue with a perfectionist, stony silence and a death glare is all you get from her when you try. The contest itself was quite amusing. These kids have an amazing capacity for rote memorization, even though I’m pretty sure they don’t understand most of what they’re saying. Some of the kids recite their pieces like little robots, it was so funny I couldn’t help laughing at them, but I didn’t feel bad because Won Jang Nim was laughing right along with me at my side. Cute kids.

I think Won Jang Nim’s building (where the school is housed) is the only original structure still standing in out street, they were ripping down another building next door this week. Our building was shaking terribly from the demolition and it even caused some structural damage as evidenced by abundant new leaks in the ceilings throughout the building. In compensation the construction company gave us all free umbrellas!

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