Saturday, October 21, 2006

A, F, awwww

One of the FroshEng girls finally emailed her essay; she's generally a good student, so I cut her some slack and didn't penalize her. She ended up with a midrange "A" on her essay and an "A-" (90%; we use a 10-point scale) as her final grade for the 5-week term.

Another girl never bothered to email her essay despite having sent me a text message to confirm my email address. Tough titty-- she gets a zero for the essay and, given her other suck-ass grades, an "F" for the term. An "F" was in the cards, anyway: she was absent five times, which means she was probably going to fail; the FroshEng attendance policy stipulates a maximum of three absences, beyond which an automatic "F" is given. It's possible that the main office will take pity on her and allow her to pass, but I sincerely hope not.

This girl has to be one of the dumbest students I've seen at Smoo. While most of the girls had brains, this one was either naturally or willfully clueless-- probably the latter. I can imagine what she'll do when she gets her "F": call the office and protest that she sent her email, and that her grade is just not fair. Korean students are slowly morphing into American students in that respect: I remember many cries of "unfair!" from American high school students unwilling to face the consequences of their own indolence, particularly when it was time to turn in projects.

Too bad for her. She had the entire five weeks to work on a 200-word (i.e., barely a page) essay. She learned about the assignment on the very first day of class, along with everyone else, and she had a calendar that listed not only what we would be doing every single day, but my contact information as well-- phone and email. Had she looked at her calendar, she would have seen the proper spelling of my email address, and there would have been no need for her to text me this evening. Instead of handing me a printed copy of her work, she chose a riskier path-- email-- and I can't muster an ounce of sympathy for her.

But my heart is not a heart of stone. As much as I hated teaching the Level 4s this term, I do appreciate the two-part text message I received almost an hour ago, which said:

Tr. Kevin! ["Tr." apparently means "teacher"] I am a Sushi class student in Level 4 at [Smoo]. Past for a month, thank

[she ran out of space and sent a second message to finish up]

you so much to your teaching! We never forget you..! ^0^ Because kevin is best tr.!

Awwwww. This sort of thing also reminds me of one of the bizarre rewards of teaching high school in America: students might hate your class, but they quickly lose their animosity after a summer, and greet you in the fall as though nothing had happened. Go figure.

I kept vigil in the office, waiting for those essays to arrive by email. Because I waited until 11pm for Dumb Girl's essay, I entertained myself by watching a bootlegged copy of "Thank You for Smoking," a film I highly recommend. Very smartly done. It's based on Christopher Buckley's novel of the same name, and as you might expect from a mind like Buckley's, no one is left unskewered. Buckley is, as you may know, the son of William F. Buckley, the grandfather of American conservatism. Buckley fils seems to be a softer touch than his dad.

Beginning Monday, I'll be teaching a "Movie English" class proposed by my supervisor. It's there mainly to replace the FroshEng class and keep me working above the 18-hour weekly minimum. I'll be spending Saturday and part of Sunday in the office, methinks, trying to get ready for this course. Because I taught a short Movie English course before, I might be able to recycle some of the old material for this go-around.


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