Tuesday, 22 June 2004

The 132nd Student

This morning I worked out how many students I teach over the course of one week. I get most classes twice a week, and some up to five times. In total, I teach 131 students, all of which I now know the names of (the final class clicked into place last week). My class size ranges from 5 to 12. The average child is 8 years 5 months and a day, is 4 foot 11, 61% male, quite nice, and is fully Korean.

None of these statistics takes into account, however, the 132nd student...

I don't know my 132nd student's name, but I do know that she is 23, about 5 foot 10, 100% female (I hope), quite nice and is fully Korean. Yes, she's the daughter of the shopkeeper that I agreed to give free English lessons to in order to practice my Korean. Last Friday I met her for the first time, and the first lesson takes place this coming Sunday.

I may have mentioned, but I was a little anxious about this girl. Because what if she looked like a pig? Teaching a troll would be no fun at all, and I'm sure my Korean wouldn't improve much. So, fingers were crossed that she'd have acquired no stray bad genes from her handsome father and attractive mother.

Fortunately, it all turned out well. On Friday, when in the shop, she appeared in the door, the fine figure of an attractive young woman. Her English doesn't appear too good, in fact it's possible it's on about a par with my Korean. All the negotiations about where and when to meet for the lesson were done in Korean, with a smattering of German too from the father.

The poor father. He obviously thinks I'm a trustworthy fellow and is happily sending is daughter to learn English from me, whereas all she'll really learn is the true meaning of corruption.

Anyway, she appeared very pleasant (and of course, it is the personality that counts...) and quite shy too. The first lesson is scheduled for this Sunday at noon, in my apartment.

These are the first things I'm going to teach her:

1. I want gin, please.
2. I want more gin, please.
3. Please Nev, may I have more gin?
4. More gin now!
5. God Bless Scotland and God Bless Gin!
6. Yes, you can touch me.

It will be a joy to teach someone the joys of gin, in English. My kindergarten classes never quite got it, even when I mixed it with their milk.

So this week I have been exhaustively cleaning my apartment in preparation for this event, to make myself look civilised of course but also simply for health reasons. As I've only been teaching mostly reluctant children to date, it's going to be an interesting challenge to teach an interested adult. I'm hoping she'll be a bit better behaved than my kids, and unlike Eric of Ocean class last week, not wet herself. Likewise, not vomit or wipe snot across her face. Also, I'm hoping she's not obsessed with "ddong", i.e. faeces, like much of my children. Or shout "game ! game!" every five minutes. Actually, I may allow that one.

I was in the shop last night and my 132nd student and her mother were behind the counter. And they gave me a free juice and a free iced tea. This is a very promising development.

I asked David how many students he has, and he only has about 110. Therefore, if student numbers were a guage of teaching ability, I would be 20% a better teacher than him.

And, incidentally, 428% better than my mother.

No comments: