Friday, September 01, 2006

dinner wif da girlz

This was supposed to be a class outing, but I ended up taking two once and future students over to Le Petit Paris for another Friday evening dinner. In some ways, the resto experience was better this time around than last time. We ordered the same salads as my four students did last time, and all three of us got the poulet farci, which was delish. I was happy to have my own plate of it this time: it gave me a chance to appreciate the quality of the meal.

These students are from my spring semester 1pm Level 1 conversation class. They attended a Level 3 intensive class with different teachers over the summer and enjoyed the experience, but their fundamental loyalty remains to their first teacher.* During the dinner, they suddenly handed me a gift-- a white envelope containing money. I wasn't so tasteless as to count the money in front of them, but was shocked to see, upon my return to the office, W60,000 (about $60) in the envelope. They said it was collected from other students as well, and was their way of trying to show me some appreciation for my teaching. Frankly, I'm floored. When I think back to that class and how I taught them, I don't recall having done anything special; they were already at ease which each other, and the bunwigi (ambience) was very bubbly and pleasant. If anything, they should have given each other that money.

I accepted the gift gratefully and graciously, and will probably apply it to repair the debt hole with one of my Adjoshis.

After Le Petit Paris, we strolled around Yonsei campus and headed over to Red Mango, a frozen yogurt joint, where we enjoyed a bowlful of vanilla yogurt layered over with cereal sprinkles, strawberry sauce, and glazed peaches. We all agreed that Red Mango was way the hell too crowded and noisy, but we were in the Shinch'on/Yonsei University neighborhood, so this was no surprise.

And now-- to finish calendar-making. Oy.

*And that's how it is with so many students here; they form bonds of loyalty to a certain teacher and find it difficult to fall in love with anyone else. Every teacher in our department has groupies. While soothing for the ego on one level, it can be annoying on the professional level, to the extent that we teachers all want to see the students open their minds and learn through different teaching styles. We want them to listen to different accents (we represent Australia, England, and the US here), appreciate how varied the English-speaking world is, and maybe start to think of English as a living phenomenon.


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