Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scapegoats and Nigger Knobs Vol II

There is a directorial team called the Hughes Brothers who made a very popular film in the urban genre called Menace II Society. To cut down on cost the Brothers were forced to rent the cheapest cameras and editing equipment on the market and curtail their shooting schedule. The film went on to make back its production cost many times over in the theaters. With that success the brothers expected to receive a larger budget and better equipment for their subsequent films. Instead they were presented with the same sub-standard gear they used to make their first film. The brothers called this junk equipment they were offered "nigger knobs" and the term has resonated with me here in kimchiland.






The above is an effigy of yours truly scrawled unto the walls of Haein Middle School in Gaya. The picture was drawn after i threw about a dozen students out of my extra-curricular conversation class after school one day. This class was about 90% boys who didn't care about learning one way or the other. Most days I would do a preemptive strike and just throw everybody out after attendance but some of the Korean teachers voiced concerns to my co-teachers about having the school hooligans roaming the halls. So I kept them in class and they started in with their bullshit and I threw them all out. 10 minutes later my co-teacher comes to me requesting that they be let back into class and I refused. I had thrown these students out at least a dozen times by now and that is a tremendous number considering I only teach them twice a week. So they are in the hall and a few of them get the bright idea to draw my likeness on the wall of the stairwell I use to go to the teacher's office. This was a Monday and I'm thinking these kids are really going to be in big trouble. Students don't deface the school walls in such a blatant form of disrespect without there being major consequences. ( these fucks would get hit in the head with a tennis racket for much less than that)The next Monday I show up at school and the wall is painted over. I don't say anything and my co-teacher Ms. Park comes over to give me my daily instructions. Ms. Park was about 30 years old living with her parents in Daegu on the weekends rocketing towards spinster hood at an alarming rate. Ms. Park had an enormous head and a really thin body which she adorned with see through clothing. She would also spend a significant portion of each day I taught there rubbing, grabbing , pinching or commenting on some part of my body. She would say shit like "you are so hard I can't even pinch you" or after flicking water on her from a paper cup she would say "Michael you make me wet everyday"


The following week she comes over to my desk to tell me something and I let her know that from now on I would only teach the 50% of class I am contractually obligated to teach. Furthermore, I will not lesson plan at home so I suggest you find me a computer that works. She stood there for a beat and then stomped over to the vice-principals desk and said in Korean Mike is being angry with me. The vice-principal calls a meeting and we go into the teacher's lounge and I explain to him the new world order. I said I'm such a fair guy I'll teach for 23 minutes the Korean teachers don't even have to come to class until their turn starts. At this point Ms. Park starts to cry and I'm staring at her the vice principal is staring and the other co-teacher is staring. Her mascara is starting to run over that pancake makeup she wore everyday. She then shouts I have so much to do it is not fair. She looks like
Emmett Kelley at this point and now I don't care so I say why are you crying about doing less than half of the lesson plan what's the matter with you. She starts to gently whimper and the vice-principal is smirking because what started as a professional meeting has quickly devolved into a pseudo lovers quarrel between me and Ms. park. Trying to steer the meeting back on course he says but you were so happy and you do such a good job the children love the candy and the lessons you give why are you angry? I said you are nigger knobbing me . What would have happened if the children would have retaliated against a Korean teacher with a picture on a hallway wall? No forget that what would have happened if they would have done that to the the damn lunch ladies. Suspension, expulsion , public beating and apologies. I didn't receive any of that you just covered it up like it didn't happen . So if I'm going to be treated like less than a teacher here I'm going to perform like less than teacher. I'll show up with 23 minutes of material from your horrible text and that will be that. He didn't have anything to say after that because he knew everything I said was one hundred percent accurate. After the meeting I went up to Ms. Park and tried to apologize for her tears. She said you "are a very bad man " you must refrect on your behavior. After that day she didn't speak to me too often in the office. Who knew she was in love?

11 comments:

  1. Yo shit be gold. The imagery of Mike in Korea Taekwondo shit kicking through all the Korean BS is refreshing.
    I remember when I first arrived in Korilla with nothing more than an open mind and eagerness for adventure and hard work.
    Damn did I ever learn the hard way. That kind of attitude got me worked and abused harder than a rented mule in the red light district of Tijuana.

    My ability to sniff out pre-emptive bullshit wafting from the principles office sharpened and evolved to become almost uncanny. Contractual disagreements, Late Pay, Changed Class times, Grudges, Jealousy, Distrust, High Turnover, Lack of Communication, Bad breath, Cheap Booze, False Promises Its all there folks.

    My advice is to be as ignorantly blissful as one can possibly be while living in Korea and turn those headphones up real loud.

    And above all....... just Bank it.

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  2. I understand. I was in Seoul as a Korean American and I felt discriminated against and challenged often. So to be the only black guy in Hapcheon, I can't even imagine. What I appreciate about your blog, you never resort to childish name-calling.

    Isn't the best revenge against the Hakwons to find a way to out-compete them? I've given this some thought and bringing you (and others like you who end up hating Korea) out there seems to be their biggest cost. One that can easily be avoided in this digital age.

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  3. I am indifferent to Korea as a place I dislike Korean bullshit

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  4. "Michael you make me wet everyday"
    This lady's a freak! I bet she's all kinky.

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  5. Why does the picture of you say "Michlee"?

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  6. This is a terrific blog. :D

    I don't get why you don't want to return to the states, though. Did I miss some anti-patriotic blog entry or what?

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  7. Are you for real?

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  8. I am very real and sexy. As for America I love it just fine but there are things I want to do and see first .I needto see South America my girl in Dubai Europe. And a lot of my students are tremendously stupid.

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  9. When do you leave Mike? I am definitely going to miss this blog

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  10. I'll miss this blog. good luck!

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