Intrepid Girl Reporter

Saturday, 12/22: welcome to paradise
December 22, 2007, 3:07 pm
Filed under: IGR Recommends, music, okay seriously Korea, skool, students

Going to Jungangro after the festival proved fruitless, as it turns out that you can’t really return things in Korea, at least not when those things are cheap and you don’t speak the language. So basically I spent cab fare to and from the rotary to buy two separate wafers of my favorite burnt-sugar candy and four pairs of Muhan Dojeon socks.

The futility of my afternoon, however, was compensated for by the complete and total reward that is the Korean school festival, which included the following.

  • rap
  • rap with beatboxing
  • rap with live piano
  • rap with the phrase “hey yo” and various directional commands (“to the left, to the right”)
  • booty dancing
  • booty dancing in plaid
  • an all-teacher cover band with a vaguely Blue Oyster Cult feel
  • a student band that offered three Green Day covers
    • these students were borrowed from another school
  • six robots dancing in unison to opera
  • ninth-graders continuously hitting on Oregon


1) The beatboxing explains the inexplicable behavior change on the part of one of my former best students. Previously kind, enthusiastic and funny, his recent too-cool-for-school attitude made me think that maybe I had done something. Nope. He just fancies himself a beatbox celebrity. Well, I’ve got news for you, friend: beatboxing won’t teach you English.

2) My students are TERRIBLE booty dancers. Also one of the dances looked a little like the Tootsie Roll.

3) I am SO JEALOUS that Quagmire’s school has this Green Day-based student cover band. Why does my school have to suck?*

*where “suck” = “not having a Green Day-based student cover band”

4) While I didn’t get quite as much attention as Oregon, it is quite clear that most of the ninth-grade boys have NO idea that I am a teacher at their school. What they do see me as is a foreign girl who would potentially date a ninth-grade Korean boy. I can’t even begin to parse the flaws in this perception. The lone exception to this rule is a boy I don’t know who has, on multiple occasions, gone to great pains to inform me that he has a girlfriend, presumably in an attempt to apply some sort of reverse-psychology tactic. Sample sentence: “My girlfriend, these socks, give me.”

Now it’s midnight and I’m still finishing up my personal statement and debating whether or not to download the Sheryl Crow album where she looks like the Crow on the cover. The serendipity present in that statement was not apparent until I typed it. I’m waffling not because I see it as a guilty pleasure, but because if I don’t put it on there I will listen to other things, things I don’t know, things that will make me feel and think different things than I did when I listened to that album in high school. In other words, it’s constricting me, and yet I have this inexplicable desire to listen to “Redemption Day” on repeat. Maybe it’s because I’m returning to the land of country, the land where the blood runneth orange. (See: “Ten I See,” Silver Jews.)

Which brings me to today’s IGR Recommends: Chuck Klosterman on guilty pleasures. This makes me feel a lot better about some of the terrible quality things that I love. Although since listening to Sheryl Crow actually would be preventing me from listening to something else, thus somewhat qualifying it as a guilty pleasure under Klosterman’s definition, it is not a guilty pleasure because her later albums were terrible, because her songs in commercials were inescapable, or because she dated Lance Armstrong. I like it. I like her voice, I remember liking the sadness when I first heard it, and that is that.


1 Comment so far
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someday i will insa like those robots.

enjoy america! 🙂

Comment by Elizabeth

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