Monday, July 08, 2013

Saint Meatolas

Today, I played Santa for my two private students. Because I had so much leftover meat from July 4th, I decided to bag several pounds of it up and give it to my kids and their parents. Perhaps I shouldn't be blogging this, but my two students (brother and sister) told me that they were desperate to eat good food because neither of their parents is a very good cook. I've seen evidence of this at their apartment: Costco pizza boxes, huge containers of pre-made bread, Shin Ramyeon, etc., all pointing to the idea that Mom and Dad don't really like prepping their own food. I was initially shocked at how frank my students were about their parents' inability to cook anything decent; I expected Korean kids to be more loyal. But I guess the kids feel comfortable enough in my presence to drop any pretense of solidarity when it comes to certain aspects of their home life, such as culinary skills. Either that, or they're so desperately hungry that they'll blurt out the truth to anyone who'll listen.

So I gave the kids two gallon-sized Ziploc bags full of St. Louis-style ribs and L.A. galbi. As is my wont, I prefaced the gift-giving with a little cell-phone slide show, in which I displayed photos of my July Fourth meal as a way of making the kids salivate. (You can see those pics here.) Then, after the slide show, I revealed my carnivore's trove, and their faces lit up in delight at the prospect of a decent dinner. You have no idea how happy that made me.

In three weeks, on July 28, I'll be having my students over at my place for a jjong-party, i.e., a sort of end-of-term party, in this case to celebrate the end of my tutoring them. By the 21st of the month, I'll have spent 50 hours with the kids—about 25 weeks, almost half a year, getting to know and love them. They're really good teens, and I'll miss them a lot when I'm in Korea. I can only hope they come visit me while I'm there. That would warm an old man's heart.

Saint Meatolas to the rescue!


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