The thing is, he wasn’t even famous.
The twin brother of the favored contestant on Korea’s version of American Idol (follow all that?) visited a teacher at our school. Halfway through the morning, screaming started echoing through the hallways, and girls pour out (literally, pour) into the gym area, and start mobbing the parking lot.
I guess they didn’t get the memo that this man was just the twin brother, and that the actual person they’re in love with is locked in the house with the rest of the contestants on the show.
After lunch, the man came into my office, and there was literally a screaming mob outside my doors. Girls were banging on the thankfully-drape-covered windows, and screaming, and probably fainting. Who knows. They tried to bang on the doors, which a few teachers muscled closed after the first few groups of screaming and gasping-for-air girls forced their way through.
The head of my department finally went into the hallway with a couple other teachers, after the vice-principal was on the phone with who-knows-who. Yes, corporal punishment is illegal. No, it is not enforced very strictly. (So I’m allowed to touch my student on the shoulder without getting sued.) I know of teachers who literally carry a stick around, and others swat at kids with rulers when they’re misbehaving.
I know some of you may be shocked and feel indignant, but I also know of many shocked-and-indignant people who started teaching here, and immediately saw the value in the method.
That’s a whole other conversation topic, I guess. Another day. I’m still recovering from this one.
Although, other than having a couple thousand middle school girls screaming outside my door, it went pretty well! I’m enjoying my lesson for this week, and I enjoyed my teacher’s class this morning.
The vice principal asked again how I was adjusting, and said the principal was worried about me, and if there was anything any of them (principal, vice, other teachers) could do, just let them know. I swear, I couldn’t have been placed in a better school. And maybe when my Korean improves, and if I help them with their English, I can actually be more social than our current semi-broken conversations with excessive amounts of smiling and nodding.