Intrepid Girl Reporter

she says, why is my life so uneven
November 6, 2007, 2:26 pm
Filed under: NaBloPoMo, skool, students, teaching

It should not have come as a surprise to find out that two of my worst first graders – Eun Jeong and Mi Yeon – have, respectively, a terminally ill mother and a terminally absent family, that Eun Jeong has been “absent love” for the past few years or so thanks to relatives who keep shuffling her around, as Mrs. Yoo described it tonight at the English teachers’ meeting. It may be a surprise to know that I started crying. But really, these sob stories are inevitable, an inherent part of the narrative of teaching. These things become cliche for a reason.

Miguk Oma asked me the other day why I always find myself with the hard-luck cases, the screamers and the outcasts and the ones who leave notes on my desk saying, “You are die [IGR]. Do you like sex?” I didn’t come to Korea to save anyone. I came here to take a break from doing the hardest work, and still, somehow, I found myself working with kids who remind me every day of Summerbridge Cambridge House E, of Maurice and Tonto and Brianna and Nadine and Charlene and Janine. I can’t even give them pseudonyms without cringing, that’s how real they still are, and how much these students – students who don’t even speak the same language – bring me back. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be in these places or if I subconsciously want to be here, hating myself for feeling so lucky.


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[…] got Eun Jeong, the whiniest and sullenest of many whiny and sullen girls, to participate MULTIPLE TIMES today, […]

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[…] Eun Jeong actually competed for tickets today […]

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