I use that last term lightly, no worries! Also, I apologize in advance for the discombobulated (I love that word!) writing. I’m battling the whole sore-throat/cold/flu thing. Comes from never sleeping.
Therefore, you can skip to the pictures at the bottom, and I won’t be insulted in the least!
I think it’s safe to say that anything you tell one teacher will be known by many in a very short amount of time. Duh. Me and my naivety.
Every now and again I do voluntarily-required work, editing papers for the principal’s daughter whose studying in the States. It’s medical, and I’ve never written a scientific paper in my life. Science papers are slightly different from liberal arts papers, so half my corrections I hope are actually correct in the world of extended sentences, overblown vocabulary, and passive tenses.
This morning, I made the comment to a teacher that I didn’t like editing the papers because I never knew if I was 100% correct in my suggestions. Meaning exactly what I said: I don’t mind making the corrections, but even grammar can differ in a science-based paper vs. the papers I’ve written all my life and it makes me nervous that I might be wrong.
Word traveled upwards, back to the principal.
First, she came in to apologize and say it wasn’t necessary that I make corrections besides grammatical ones. Which is all I can do anyways, obviously, and, well, see above.
Second, she brought me a toast-sandwich from a restaurant towards the end of the day, while I was inserting commas and articles and yadda yadda (can’t complain! who doesn’t love free food?).
Third, she brought in an English teacher to explain to me that it’s not necessary that I help her out in this way. Then, Korean culture became obviously relevant.
After I continued to insist I didn’t mind, the teacher and principal had a quick conversation, then the principal left and the teacher gave me a small speech about how
it is hard to say no to the principal and she understands that I am probably nervous about it but it’s really OK if I’m unwilling and even though it’s hard to turn down the principal I can and she gets nervous when she has to say no to the principal so she gets it…
…and you get the idea.
I insisted, again, I was fine, and I think the “situation” has resolved itself.
It was interesting though.
I think that shows the hierarchy pretty well. Positions are very important, and it’s considered extremely bad form to turn down someone of higher rank than you. They assumed I was just really too nervous to refuse. Well, that and the comment I made was taken as “I hate doing this” rather than the “I hate not knowing exactly what I’m doing.” That was the instigator right there! Makes you realize how sensitive languages are to the different nuances just in the way you phrase things. So complicated!
If I want to say “No,” I will. In America, we’re a little rude I guess–but the plus side is we know how to stand up for ourselves.
Like when she asked me to check the format. And I point-blank said I don’t do formats. APA, MLA, TFLN…whatever.
Along the lines of “people talk,” I get the feeling Gym Teacher knows I find him attractive. Which spoils the fun of it. Let’s be real, it’s been a couple of months anyway, and even though his ego makes me laugh half the time…
I have ADD.
Saturday night makes me think of this:
[Notice Rachel’s cell phone/box.]
After the Thanksgiving feast at church, I headed back to crash the rock climbing party at my gym. We climbed at the gym, then went to our token restaurant to party. Filled the whole place. All 5X10 feet of it. OK, maybe a little bigger. But 10X20 is as high as I’m going.
(I took an extra pumpkin pie to the climbing part, and the only utensils were toothpicks. That poor pie. Never saw it coming.)
My new best friend is Seokju.
He cracked up when I said I’d remember his name ’cause “It’s like soju, but Soekju!” People who laugh entertain me.
And when we figured out we’re the same age, he threw out the pound and said, “We are friends! American style!” with a huge grin on his face.
And whenever he couldn’t come up with exactly what he wanted to say, he’d type like mad into his phone dictionary.
Seokju: “I like…uh..I like…uh, uh…” [types into phone]
Half-Drunken-Man-Next-to-Seokju: “I like YOU!” [points at me with a huge grin on his face]
I know I go back and forth in struggling with homesickness, but I’m pushing it out of my mind.
Because there is too much I’m going to miss about this country when I leave.
(the following pictures were borrowed from the gym’s website…shhh)