Friday, 14 May 2004

Teachers' Day

Tomorrow is Teachers' Day, a great day of celebration in Korea where teachers are rewarded by their students for the great work that they do. Of course, if the gifts were awarded on a merit scale then I'd be getting a double knighthood, but as I work at a humble school in a cut-throat culture, I've got to settle for socks.

Or so I thought. Teachers' Day this year is a Saturday which means today, Friday, is the day I get the gifts. I was expecting a deluge of socks, from everything I've heard, but so far have received exactly none. So far it's been shampoo, body scrub and some handkerchiefs from a Cosmos class's Sandra who referred to me as "Lab Teacher". Where are the socks, kids?

The day is only half finished - or half started depending on your outlook, so I hold out hope for some socks to come. In retrospect I should have been dropping bigger hints to my classes, such as making them take notes home with them informing parents of my list of presents.

On a totally different note, I received a strange message today. From little Daniel in Forest class, the very youngest of all classes. He's probably about 4 and although he knows some of his alphabet, isn't a commander of the English yet. He's certainly not quite as retarded as some of his tiny classmates, but neither is he about to win multiple scholarships. Anyway, today, while colouring in the letter E, he wrote a message on his paper: "sm5 is a soana"

I'm pretty sure little Daniel isn't capable of this level of English yet, even though it isn't really English and just semi-gibberish. I think it must be some sort of unworldly message to me from some mysterious force. Remember, the only reason I'm here is because I woke up one morning with a voice in my head saying "Teach English, you must teach English. Teach English." Obviously the next phase of the guiding voice is beginning. But what could it mean? SM5? Maybe SMS, it might have been. Soana? Sauna, perhaps? Who or what is sm5?

Heavy analysis will obviously have to be done, any suggestions welcome. And I'll be keeping a close eye on Daniel's next written words too.

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