happy black day?

Today is Black Day. The day you celebrate being single in Korea. I did not know this. I came to work this morning to find this status update by Kathleen:

“HAPPY BLACK DAY, a celebration of being single in korea. they’re obviously placing no value judgment at all naming the holiday with the colour of darkness and bad. great.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself Kathleen (really I couldn’t have, I think she is terribly clever). If it was up to me I would name single day “Purple Day” or “Turquoise Day” because I love being single and I think those are happy colors.

A friends response to Kathleen’s status (I love Chris so much for this):

80s Video Dating Montage

In other news, is it bad that I didn’t notice one of my fourth grade classes had a set of twins in it until… oh… the second month of the semester? Oops.

I had to “yell” (I didn’t raise my voice, it was more like “talk sternly”) at one of my fifth grade classes today. They were probably really terrified of my ‘mad’ look because I am taking Taekwondo now.

What happened to cause such a thing? Well, the students thought they had science class next and their desks were covered in all of this cool gadgety stuff to do some fun science experiment. Imagine their surprise when two English teachers walk in instead.

“NO! Science!!!”



The class was hysterical and yelling and refusing to get their English books out (I mean things were thrown on the floor, it was like one big tantrum fest, like the kind I threw when I was little. What goes around, comes back around… in Korea?). I was seething on the inside, this would NEVER happen in the States. Students here are so much more disrespectful (and it is acceptable, students are definitely disrespectful in the U.S. but it is at least dealt with and they TRY to stop it).

I stood in the front of class dead silent with a stony stare while my co-teacher told them to put their science stuff away, get their books out, and settle down in Korean (at least I think that is what she said). When the majority of the students stopped talking I said “Quiet” loud and firm. The students have yet to hear me speak like that and stopped and stared immediately.

This is the frustrating part. Giving a lecture/speech about respect and the fact that you never “boo” at a teacher and how none of their behavior was acceptable, and then having the speech translated. They don’t really have a word for “rude” in Korean. Go figure. Or maybe they do and they just don’t use it. Anyway, the students listened, nodded in agreement, and watched me fume at them silently in frustration. I had a student stand up and explain what they did wrong in Korean (not understanding any of it but agreeing with her nonetheless) and then my co-teacher and I walked out of the class.

We came back in two seconds later and I started the class with a loud cheerful “good morning!” and we continued on as if nothing had happened. But the students were the best behaved they have ever been.

I shall end with another fb quote, this time in a message thread:

Melissa, “on another note, I was stopped in the middle of the street and asked out tonight by a Korean …..black day coincidence??”


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