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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Korean Female has Caught My Eye, but she....

...happens to speak, as far as I know, hardly a lick of English. (Not that the whole language barrier has stopped things from accelerating in the past). She's one of the Korean teachers here. The way they do the classes here is that they have Korean teachers sit in on the classes while we teach. They don't instruct, and they hardly intervene. Its as though they are observing our teaching, but they're really observing the children and marking what the students do or don't do. All the while, its as though, they're not really there. Phantom teachers, they could be called.

Well, there's this one teacher who sits like a ghost..full of terrible charm and frightening radiance. I noticed her the first day. We accidentally touched when we both were reaching for the doorknob. And held hands for like 2 seconds. Or more like a quarter of a second. But regardless it was as though we held hands. Just multiply it by 20 and we were like a couple. That was when we first met. Some days she sits in my room, and other days she is off in another hall. Some days, I catch her glancing at my schedule and teaching sheets and I wonder what she's thinking, other days I catch her sleeping in class, and some days, I am in the middle of asking the kids to spell "Tuesday" or "jacket" and across the room, our eyes meet. Its my 2nd class of the day. Her class is adorable, though squirmy.

I do not know her name. One time, I asked the students what her name was when she was not in the class. And it was the most indecipherable string of syllables. And I soon forgot it within 5 seconds. Besides, the kids could've misunderstood what I was asking and were just giving me what the Korean word for "teacher" is.

Physically, her face is sort of wide. She has a little mouth and a little nose. But two dazzling lynx-like eyes set ontop of a firm set of cheekbones. When they fix themselves on me, and she's not asleep, I can't help but think, "My Goodness, she is so sexy." Her hair is not long. And she is quite thin, without giving one the impression from the start that she is thin. I think it's her wide face. Over all these traits combine and give her, strangely if stretching one's imagination, the exotic resemblance of a lioness. She has one of those melancholic, introverted demeanors. Sad faces can be so tantalizing. And it wasn't until 2 weeks into teaching that I realized that her little mouth could smile.

This was achieved by me. I was playing Simon Says with the children. That day, particularly, which happened to be April 1st, I was playing my own jokes on the Korean teachers by saying Simon says touch something black, and the only thing really black in the room is the skirt that the teacher is wearing. So this beserking mob of children would charge the teacher. With this specific teacher though, she smiled when I got them to surround her playing along with it. Can't say, that all the other teachers in the other classes did.

I know all the real objections, that I have very little idea of what her personality is like. And that I am only projecting things onto her because she is quiet and real communication is hindered. So she sits framed like a portrait of a ravishing girl hanging on the wall across the room, an artist's exotic idea of beauty melting into the distance. But not a real person. But one thing is certain,and one thing I do know...she likes children. And women that are good with children have a sway over me.

The only conversation, I had with her was when I was reporting an incident. We are to report all incidents when a student gets hurt. One kid threw a ball and hit Tommy in the eye and Tommy began crying. Because most of the Korean teacher's are not the best in English, and I'm certainly not a Korean dictionary. To tell them anything is a difficulty. Through the use of charades I mimicked the ball being hurled towards my face and the tears streaming from my eyes. She was sharp and understood what I was saying within seconds. (You should have seen the odds I was up against trying to explain to another Korean teacher when Jennifer had mooned Alex; I wasn't doing charades then.) But her quick comprehension, got me hoping that maybe she understands English better than the other Korean teachers.

And then the moment came when she spoke to me. That Casablanca moment, when fire and sky meet, where Juliet steps out on the balcony, It was when the students were getting ready to leave, and they were lined up near the door. She looks at me with those lynx-like eyes, splicing the shadows from the light with those sultry, beautiful slivers, and she, with a smile, utters the word,....."Potato." "Potato?" I question back. She sort of laughs and her mind reaches back trying to form the words, and she says it again, "Potato." "Oh, you want them to play hot potato tomorrow?" I ask. She shakes her head in negation, but still smiles. As they file out of the room, her meaning is still left unclear. And I'll be first to admit that there has been more than one night here just before I've drifted off to sleep that I've wrestled with the riddle, "Potato? Potato. I think there's a hidden meaning in that."

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Anonymous JamesBrett said...

it's an ancient korean form of becoming engaged. when she says potato with a long 'a,' you're supposed to say potato with a short 'o.' this signifies that, despite the differences you have (historically male / female and family / clan), you are agreeing to set those aside and marry -- becoming one.

in your case, however, the differences would be many. if you had answered 'potato,' she would have gone on to 'pajamas.'

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just figured she was trying to see if you said potaaato or potouto.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, used the wrong dipthong. I should have put potauto.

2:51 PM  

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