They like me! They ACTUALLY Like me!

I can’t believe how different it is teaching at Wharton now than it was when I first started. In the beginning I was questioning myself as a teacher: Was I too strict? Did I give unfair homework? Should I allow the students youtube time?
I was a nervous wreck. Students were quitting my class and complaining that I was too strict. But then, they started to come around. They did their homework, they tried harder to speak in English, and students were saying Hi to me outside of the classroom. When the semester was ending, my manager informed me that the majority of my students were requesting to have me teach them again.

A few of them got their wish, but with my promotion, I was brought upstairs to the Scholars (slightly more advanced) program. I saw some old faces (some of my favorites) and many new faces. Some had heard of me and some were unfortunate enough to have NEVER heard of me.

I have been revamping the Guru (library) program and helping the school director develop a new literature class. In Korea, middle school students may miss up to a month of class due to exams (similar to SATs… it helps them get into HIGH SCHOOL!? whoa). This past week, two of my students (favorites, ahem ahem) came in. I jokingly said ‘Oh I missed you boys!’ and they responded ‘We are so happy to be back, Teacher!’ ‘Yea! We missed you too! There’s much to talk about!’ I was shocked. ‘Really?’ I asked. ‘You actually missed me?’ They nodded and responded ‘Of course!’  — Wow. I was floored. So we sat and caught up a bit on the few weeks they missed. And since only two (of 5) showed up, we started to plan our monthly essay topic. This particular class offers incredible insight to controversial topics (see Alex’s essay). After a few minutes of topic ideas, we decided to write about a major event that occurred recently in Korea: the sinking of the Sewol ship. If you’re unsure of this news story, please consider moving out from your rock… google it – it’s a seriously horrible tragedy. —Topic: Following the tragic sinking of the Sewol ship, many Korean festivals and activities were cancelled out of respect for those who lost their lives. Do you think, two weeks later, plans should still be cancelled or postponed (out of respect)? Support your opinion with reasons, details, and examples. ***Example, a Korean government worker was asked to cancel his family vacation two days before his departure (and two weeks after the sinking) to show the people of Korea that the government is paying respect to those lost*** — This is a serious topic and I only trust this class to handle the seriousness of it. I’m excited to read what they have to say.

Anyway – this week, my manager informed me that I would be taking over another middle school Scholars class. When I asked why, she replied that several students wanted to transfer into my class but couldn’t due to scheduling. Therefore, I get the entire class. Students are actually ASKING to be in my class? This is still flooring me.

And to boot – tomorrow is Teacher’s Day and one of my students just walked in and handed me a gift. 😀 I suspect this year ‘Teacher’s Day’ in Korea will be nothing like Wai Kru day (Teacher Respect day) in Thailand – where the students crawl on their hands and knees to present me with flowers.

I guess they like me here.

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How to Be a Respectful Roommate

Section A: The Living Room

1. If you leave your shoes there, put them where one will not trip.

2. If eating there, wipe down the table after you spilled the soup.

3. If drinking there, throw away/recycle the bottle when finished and clean your cup.

4. If you have guests, clean up after them if they can’t for themselves.

 

Section B: The Kitchen

1. Ants exist (especially in Thai kitchens) – wipe down the area that has been used into a trash bag, not the floor. (these areas include but are not limited to: stove top, sink, counter space, dining table, microwave, fridge)

2. Ants exist (especially in Thai kitchens) – don’t leave food that has been opened out of the fridge. 

3. Thank you for cleaning the entire inventory of utensils and dishes used, now put them away.

4. BUT don’t put the dishes away when ANTS are crawling all over them. 

5. Sweep up after your 1am pancake crumbs.

6. If you created two bags of trash, remove them. If not, let them just sit there.

 

Section C: The Bathroom

1. When male and female live together, put the toilet seat down. 

2. Remove the 5 empty bottles of Head&Shoulders that have piled up in the corner of the shower.

3. Replace the toilet paper when it’s run out. If it’s not your turn, then kindly inform the other to purchase it. 

4. Take the old toilet paper roll off and replace it with the new one!

5. Ants exist (especially in Thai bathrooms) – wipe down your spit and shavings from the counter. 

6. If mold starts to appear on your toothbrush or other vanity objects – get rid of said object… for your own health. 

7. Don’t mooch off the roommate’s toothpaste for a week. A day or two at most then replace your own. 

8. Wipe the floor, mirror, and door handle once in a while.

9. Do something simple like spray some bleach on the shower to clean it, and 20 minutes later rinse it off. Wiping isn’t even necessary. 

 

Section D: Bills

1. If you use aircon in Thailand, be prepared to pay for it. That shiz is expensive and it’s rude to pay only half if you’re the only one. 

2. Water bill only 85baht? High fives all around.

3. Communicate when the bill arrives and when it is due. Decide who will be in charge of paying it. 

 

Communication is Key. Without it, the doors for possibility stay closed. 

 

This is not directed toward any particular person. It is just a handy reminder to roommates everywhere. It doesn’t have to suck to live with someone. Be fair. 

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