Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Are you crajy?"

Well, I'm mystified.

I have a student who is one of my very favorite kids. She works harder than anybody in school, asks a lot of questions (which I encourage), and really wants to do well. I had her in Creative Writing, where I continually praised her work and she earned an "A". I have her in cross country. I have her in English 11, where she responds to more of my questions than anybody else in any class. I've told her I really want her to be in my Advanced Placement class next year.

Yesterday I saw her making gestures in class, hinting at a quiz answer to another student. I went really easy on her, even though it isn't the first time she's done this kind of thing in somebody's class. I gave her a detention and a zero (out of a grand total of seven points). This dragged her semester average all the way down... to 101 percent. I specifically told her, "I'm disappointed, because I think very highly of you."

This morning, I woke to email from our executive secretary that said that the girl's mother had called saying that her daughter was upset because I don't like her and never listen to her in class.

I shouldn't take it too seriously, but I just can't get why one of my favorite students (not that I have any favorites, mind you) thinks I dislike her.

Meanwhile, last Friday was Teacher's Day in Korea. A student I haven't had since last year, and whom I never paid any special attention to, brought me a wallet as a present (the only gift, I think, she brought any teacher) and gave me a lovely card that said I was the nicest teacher she's ever had.

(An apparently total digression that isn't, really: the Korean language has no "z" sound, so the Samsung Lions are the La-ee-own-juh, my ex-colleague Zach was Jack, and kids go see animals in the Jew.)

...when the little kids in my hagwon classes in Daegu asked silly questions, I'd crack them up by crossing my eyes, sticking out my tongue, rotating my finger by my temple, and saying, "Are you crajy?!"

Concerning the current situation, I can come up with three possible explanations:

1) Koreans are crajy.
2) Teenagers are crajy.
3) I'm crajy.

Of course, all three may be true, and though I know I shouldn't put this picture out on the wild, wild Internet, I do have a clue to offer... might be me.

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