6 fit

My friends teaching elementary school here in Korea are always telling me about all of the adorable pictures that their students have drawn of them.

While cleaning out desks the other day I actually came across a portrait that one of my students had drawn of me – but of a decidedly more sinister nature!

So, apparently this is what I would look like as a skeleton man. Or alternatively, if I had a gaping hole in my stomach?

I know who it was too, because I remember him interrupting class to ask me what my height is – apparently so he accurately label how tall the skeleton version of me would be!

I also love this detail that he’s drawn in the bottom corner!

Waltzing Seung Ho

Seung Ho is one of those kids who’d just absolutely break your heart if he never managed to pass his interview. He is easily one of the sweetest, hardest working kids in the school, and spends every hour of his free time (when he’s not dealing with girl drama – ie. trying to hook up with the his ex girlfriend’s best friend) studying English into the early hours of the night. He even listens to English pop songs on the way to school on the subway.

Seung Ho in his custom made Australian flag bandana!

Unfortunately, though he has been improving, it doesn’t really show as much as it should. Seung Ho once told me, “I work very hard, but my brain – not very good.” It doesn’t help either that he is incapable of coming up with a simple answer for anything. He always has some excessively complicated philosophical response to any question you could ever ask him.

His main reason for wanting to get an internship position in Australia: to make new friends from around the world. He also dreams of one day becoming a carpenter and travelling from country to country. He’s even promised that he will build a house for me in Thailand if I end up moving back to Koh Tao.

Gyeong Mo, my other student to get a job in Australia, helping pin on Seung Ho’s Australian flag.

When he decided that he was going to play his guitar as part of his job interview, I figured why not teach him something specific for the occasion and take it one step further? So, the next week or two of Global Leader class unofficially turned into ukulele and singing lessons, as I prepared Seung Ho for the most important performance of his life!

I convinced him to let me film a video of him after his interview. Although the song was my idea, he and his mother were completely responsible for the outfit that he wore to his interview!

Did he get the job? Well, if you were an Australian, could you really say no to a Korean kid who started his interview with this?

Next month Seung Ho will be moving to Canberra to start his new career in construction!

The Global Leader Team

“Well that went well, didn’t it!”

After weeks of painful struggle, I’d finally managed to hit my stride and take control of a class of unmotivated low level high school boys! Not only did they finally listen, but I think they actually started to enjoy the lesson!

“Yes, that was good,” replies the head of the English department, “But you know your normal classes don’t matter.  You’re only here to make The Global Leader Team pass the interview.”

The Global Leader Team.

Much in the same way that my school had spent a ludicrous amount of money to install a fake grass soccer pitch, my school had hired me exclusively for the purpose of grooming The Global Leader Team for success in an English language interview – because the only measure of a school’s success is clearly how many times it can one up all of the other technical high schools.

Myself, two thirds of The Global Leader Team, and my department head.

Evidently, every scrap of credibility I had at this school rested on the ability of six poor English speakers to pass an English proficiency interview within four months. If they made it through, they’d be in Australia in two months participating in a prestigious internship program.

So, I’ve found myself spending two hours every day after school and fifteen minutes of every lunch break with The Global Leader Team, in a desperate attempt to cram as much of the English language into their heads as one could possibly hope to fit. And, most importantly, bring greatest glory to the mighty Gyeongnam Techincal High School!

What would they ask in the interview? What does the internship program entail? All details clearly far too superfluous for a mere Guest English Teacher to know.

Isn’t it great to be shipped over here to make a difference in the lives of as many students as possible?

Stay tuned next episode for tales of brave Seung Ho and the interview that he was born to conquer!