Text message from a Korean middle school boy, and other stuff

If I had to pick an age to hang out with for the rest of my life, it’d be middle schoolers.  There’s just enough cool and crazy and awkward-cuteness to keep things fun.

I had a district camp this week.  More on that later.  Maybe.  Basically, it was awesome and I fell in love with the set of 12 students in my homeroom and taught a dance class as a club activity to another 12 students and choreographed my own set and we performed it at the closing ceremony and I was ecstatic about it.

On the last day, another teacher told me in the hallway, “My students all wrote me letters!”  At first I pouted ’cause I didn’t get letters, and then I realized—this is only my favorite thing to do ever.  So I wrote letters for them.  And of course, all of our students had our phone numbers from the field trip.  So now I have 12 middle schoolers with my number and email, and I couldn’t be happier.

Kevin (they all used English names at…English camp) stuck out right from the beginning, for resembling my brother Gabe so much.  He also loves soccer.  I told him that in his letter, and this is the text message I received today.  (P.S. GRE tomorrow! Think of/pray for me!)

Notice the squiggles and arrows and asterisks–they’re all roughly equivalent to smilies in texting over here, and used ubiquitously (a word I will now ace if it shows up tomorrow. WHAT UP.).

I’m not sure what the question marks are all about?

Teacher~~
Thank you so much
I miss you, too??
I am happy because you especially liked me^^* Have a great day ~~~
-KEVIN 

Actually, Tom was my favorite, but shhhh don’t tell.

Although Kevin is an awesome writer.  I told him he should be a reporter or write a book.  And Tom wants to start a company that is better than Apple, and he totally can.  He also wants to be a good role model.  And Bella (guess what she’s a fan of!) wants to be a prosecutor to help the poor.  She also cried when we left, which surprised me.

Maybe it’s cause I bought them donuts at the airport.  And because I sat next to her at the planetarium and we talked about how awful Jake looked with long hair.

And Joe, aw I love Joe, and I feel for him because he works so hard but he’s not quite the “best,” you know?  He was an awesome student, but not as good as the one who got awarded for being the “top” student.  He did a great job in his work book, but not as much work as the student who won for best workbook.  Story of my life.  Always falling just-short-enough.  I think I told him he is awesome in his letter.  I think he wanted to be a doctor.  (He’s the one who was featured in my last post.)

And Elena was always late.  So I told her we could be friends.

And Hyejin (who obviously didn’t choose an English name, which is totally cool) worked so hard, and I actually saw her improve a lot over the week, which was cool, and I told her that.

And David—aw David made me mad!  I mean, HE didn’t.  But for the field trip, they had to interview foreigners at the airport.  David was leading his group, because he’s so eager and endearing, and excitedly tried to introduce himself to an old man who told him, “I can’t understand you, go away,” as he waved his hands and walked away.  SERIOUSLY MAN.  SERIOUSLY.  OK fine, BE rude, that’s cool I understand you can’t find your gate and you’re upset, but SERIOUSLY.  Say, “Go away, I don’t want to talk to you.”  Don’t insult this kids pronunciation and crush his willingness to try speaking a language that is about as opposite to his own native tongue as you can get.  Stupid old man.  A curmudgeon, if you will.

OK, apologies.  Obviously you guys don’t care about my students.  But I love them!  And I really should get some sleep.  I had no idea I’d be so physically and emotionally drained after this week!

Oh wait wait wait!  I just got an email!

Hello
Rachel! I’m a Bella.
I’m sad because I will be not able to meet you.
I read the letter which is receive to you. Thank you.
I had fun hanging out with you too.
I think you are a great teacher.
I’m sure that I will be not able to forget you.
Well…I don’t know about you lots of. For example your age, your hobby, and so on…
But I know you are a nice person. And I like you so much.
I hope we can continue to send e-mail.
Good bye~^^

Best second-to-last-week ever.  One of my top weeks in Korea, hands down.

Plus, I have the best friends in the world.

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5 responses

  1. Sounds like you’re having great fun!!!! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. Your experiences bring good memories of my time in Seoul to mind.

  2. Awww! I really enjoyed this post.
    1. I LOVE children.
    2. I have an insane passion for education.
    3. I sooo want to teach English in Korea or Japan. I just need to find a legitimate recruiter, attend a meeting, etc.
    4. The stories a great, and I kind of feel like I know the students a little.
    5. The notes made me smile and go, “Awww!”

    • thanks 🙂 if you want a good recruiter for Korea, check out the link on my sidebar “TESL in Korea” and you can use my recruiter. they were pretty awesome! i think they have actually moved back to Korea and are here currently, as well.

  3. I know nothing about this so these are wild guesses.
    ?? are possibly teery eyes – upside down teery eyes
    but still close. ^^* really happy – I watch a lot of cartoons.
    Imagine desperately trying to contain your excitement –
    clenched eyes and a tiney explosion in your head.
    ~^^ is the same little person waving, perhaps?

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