Thursday, August 27, 2009

Farewell Dinner for Vice Principal

So. Tired.

Highlights reel:

**Successfully doing the formal Korean drinking thing where you pour for your boss, he drinks, then pours for you in the same glass he just drank out of, and you pray he doesn't have hepatitis. Fun for all!
**I'm pretty sure my coteacher told the principal that I'm a good teacher and that I work hard for the students. But since I was catching about 1 out of every 20 words, it's pretty theoretical. I will say that I'm honing my skill for divining the gist of what people are saying even when I don't have the vocabulary (which happens, rough guesstimate, 100% of the time)
**The principal had a few and told me I "will be his third daughter." Important to note that the principal actually HAS three daughters. Coteacher told me later that Korean tradition has it the third daughter is the most beautiful. So...not the most bizarre compliment I've received in Korea, but it's on the list.
**Listening to coteacher, other English teacher, principal, vice principal, and dean of students talk about me at the table about 5 minutes (my Korean sucks, but I definitely heard "Kaye Sansengnim" and "migook" frequently). By the way, no five minutes in existence is longer than one where you're sitting with people talking about you in a language you can't understand. Coteach has a habit of massively exaggerated facial expressions, but that helped less than you'd think.

*NORAEBANG! Some of the awesomely worst tambourine-ing this side of reality
*In Korea, people mistake my Americanness for pop culture expertise, my whiteness for beauty, and my ability to clap on the 2 and the 4 for dancing. Of course, being in a place where there's less of an onus put on sweeping generalizations (ha! see what I did there?) has its downside, and sometimes that outranks the good. At noraebang, however, I appreciate the bizarre cultural intersections that allow me to sing '90s pop music with drunk 50 year old men. I mean, RIGHT?!
**Watching Principal & VP sing a duet. First the hand-holding, then the standing behind the other one with arms around abdomen and chin gently tucked into neck of the man in front, swaying. I dig that dudes can snuggle here without it triggering a cascade of "no homo, man."
**The math department insisting on clapping on the 1 and the 3.
**Aforementioned math teachers' confusion when the next song was in 3/4

More later. Sleep now. Keely tomorrow! :o)


J. said...

this post made me laugh so hard that i started tearing up!

Mr. Kim (USA) said...

Picture me drinking chocolate milk. Now picture me drinking chocolate milk while reading this post. See the difference? No? Hint: in the first picture, no chocolate milk coming out of my nose.

not a J. said...

sorry, not to step on the laughter coming from your readers, but what isSansengnim? NORAEBANG? migook?
and would you explain how your 'americanism' shows in your daily life?

Sans Nom said...

Hey, there, Not a J! I'm guessing Dara's sleeping at the moment, right Dara? Right?? Yep. Like a log. So I'll try to help out a bit:

Sansengnim = teacher (although in French it means "without engnim")

Noraebang = Karaoke

Migook = American

And finally, I'm pretty sure the reference was to "Americanness", i.e., the mere fact of being American, rather than any particular characteristics of "Americanism".

These things might be on the quiz. . .