I’m now over halfway through administering the mid-term English speaking tests and as any of my fellow nets will attest its been the best of times, its been the worst of times.
– Discovering that the quiet, nervy kid at the back of the class has a better grasp of the English language than the rest of them put together
– Discovering that the big-mouth clown has a soft side
– Hearing the most inspired answers to the most mundane questions
– Being confined to a sauna-like space for weeks on end and finding out just how many weird and wonderful places have the capacity to produce sweat in horrifying quantities
– Having to hear the sound of your own voice asking the same dozen questions on a loop
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve built a pretty strong profile of the male Korean high-school student. They generally fall into one of two camps sports fanatic or computer geek, with a small handful of music lovers and an even smaller handful of film buffs and book worms thrown into the mix.
Ultimate Fear – Not securing a beautiful, loyal girlfriend
Ultimate Motivator – Food, namely chicken
Most Coveted Commodity – Sleep
Dream Job – C.E.O, president, United Nations ambassador, doctor, Steve Jobs
Role-Model – Various soccer players, ‘my father’, Bruce Willis (really guys?)
Greatest Ambition – Goals and plans range from the modest – ‘get more sleep’ to the novel – ‘be the richest man on the planet and buy Gotham City’
Extra Notes – The MKHSS is generally not above trying to secure a good grade through flattery e.g. ‘how do you feel today?’ ‘the happiest because I am talking with you, my favourite teacher. And you look so good today’
Overall – in spite of the sweat – having the opportunity to speak to the little angels outside of the regular howling mob has been an insightful, confusing, gratifying, frustrating and often plain hilarious experience, and I’m quite prepared to never utter ‘Tell me about a time when you felt excited’ ever again.