Thursday, August 24, 2006

96%, PMS, and student sweetness

The summer semester's pretty much over. All that remains is Friday: one final jjong-p'ati, and then our end-of-term ceremony, which includes our skit.

Ah, the skit.

I know I invited my readers to come watch the show, but... maybe you shouldn't bother. One of our main characters has absolutely incomprehensible pronunciation, and our "dress rehearsal" today was a fiasco. We have one more rehearsal tomorrow, just before the ceremony begins, and that's it-- we go on stage, ready or not.

That reminds me: thanks to unreliable students, I'm now a cast member. A knight, to be exact-- a servant of the evil queen (no evil stepmother in this retread of the Cinderella story, but we do have a fairy godmother). Behold:

The monstrosity on my head was constructed by Your Humble Narrator last night, to the sound of baying wolves and banshee screams. The helm-- for that's what it is-- is full of staples; my colleague Z saw me wearing it and gave me an exaggerated grimace meant to convey deep revulsion at the aesthetic level. Right ray of sunshine, she is. My students reassured me that, "Wow! You have a talent for arts and crafts!", which is a nice thing to say, but unfortunately untrue. I can cartoon, and I knock off small-potatoes brush art, but that's about it. Construction paper befuddles me.

Over the past three days, the students have had to fill out their evaluation forms, and I've dropped from my winter high of over 99% to a mere 96% approval rating. Alas. The one girl who screwed up my average hit me hard, and I know exactly which student brought me so low: Justin Yoshida would know her as "Hymen." Hymen was absent six times over the course of our short semester, and she was also late more than three times. She has, technically, failed the course. Whether she'll be given the "F" remains to be seen: our office is occasionally too merciful.

When in class, Hymen would act like a smartass and complain about the work we were doing. Since she was the only one with such complaints (and the only one to make similar complaints on her eval form), I will ignore her nonsense after a few hours of Bruce Wayne-style brooding and self-criticality. I do try hard to please the maximum number of students while providing what I hope is a tough-but-fair curriculum, and I realize you can't please everybody, but I still need a moment to fume. No worries: like the crap in me bum, the anger will pass. It always does.

In the meantime, say hello to Mr. 96%.

On the other hand, some students from my Intro and Level 1 classes very sweetly wrote me notes that I proudly share with you now:

Hi! Kevin, I'm EY. Tomorrow we will have a final class. So I'm very sad. Your class was the most interesting English class I've ever experienced. Besides I gained confidence about English. I can speak English confidently although it isn't right. Thank you for your effort to improve my English ability. I will attend your Level 1 class. Very very thank you^^".
[Intro-level student]

Hi~ Teacher!!
It's me. M.A.^^
Since I took part in Intro, I have been very happy. Because of your funny and exciting teaching. Thank you very much!!
I can be took an interest in English thanks to you. Please don't forget me ~ (heart)

I thought that was very sweet.

My Level 1 students threw me a party. I had brought spaghetti sauce and pasta, and I knew they were bringing drinks and dessert, but I had no idea they would set up a lovely spread like what I saw today: ice cream, neatly sliced trays of various fruits, and a cake with five candles, representing the four remaining (!) students and me. Camera phone photos were taken... I'm hoping some of those pics come my way.

These students also gave me an origami'ed piece of paper labeled "Love Letter," and I was told not to open it just then, but to wait until later.

The students had written a slew of messages on one side of the paper, scattered randomly across the page, with no signatures attached to any of the messages. Here's what I saw (obviously, in no particular order):

be carefull! when you go to the Namsan

Thank you (heart)

I like you. Kevin. Thank you very much. You must remember me!! please... (crying emoticon)

See you next year. We must meet again (Level 3). are you scared? (giggle emoticon)

Frankly speaking, you're sooooo handsome. (is it lie?)

I wish you have a nice trip in 2007.

make a girl friend(s) Kevin!!! (heart)

Hi Kevin! How are you? I'm fine, kk. I'm glad to meet you. You are a good teacher.

Our dinner was great! French food was very delicious

You know I love you

please, don't forget me!!!!!

We have a great time during this class.

We prepared this party for you. We are thank you. We think we have had really really good time with you.

With well-wishes like that, how down can a guy be, eh?

And now... off to cook some shrimp and prepare a meal for my Intensive Level 4s, who weren't nearly this effusive. They nevertheless got the brass ring, and a promise is a promise. I had told them I'd cook the fettuccine alfredo for them, and I'll do it even if it kills me. Hymen better enjoy her damn meal.


No comments: