Last week I noticed things had got to that part of the calendar that are like the doldrums at sea. The students get this vaguely murderous look in their eye. I think I’ve used this analogy before but it continues to shape. Without saying anything (intelligible) they’re asking why are we doing this, where are we going? And as distant, still clean-shaven and slightly naive captain I say For Queen and Country. When they get too far out of line my first mate the co-teacher is the one to administer the discipline.

There has been no respite this week and my straight razor has become so dull as to be useless. I have also begun to question what I am doing here.

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Advertising here tends to be fairly unremarkable but when I saw this it did rather catch my eye.

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Actually last week was the annual local area speech contest. I had been waiting for this all year. I went to see it last year but we lost. On that day I vowed that next time we would beat those pesky Seolbong kids.
I knew exactly who was right for the job — all year I had been daydreaming about excellently smashing the competition. As it turned out I had very little to do with how things turned out and yet it still went well.
Whoever it was who picked our students picked who I would have. One of them (see right) is a freakin star with the englishes and even wrote the whole speech. It only needed minor cleaning up, which was done by the other teacher.

There was a limited set of topics that could be picked from which resulted in a lot of “kimchi is delicious” speeches, but our student had taken the Seasons & Weather topic and moulded it into a ‘what we can do about the environment’ talk — a master stroke if I do say so, and of which I really only figured out the circumstance on the day. The other thing that really kicked arse about the topic was that she talked about hurricane Katrina and both of the judges were yankees. Last year the judging was done by Korean folk and we had no way of knowing it was going to be different.

The second part was a conversation using the same topic between student one and student two, and that went well too.
Out of the fourteen middle schools that competed, we won. That really made my day. I’m glad I got to go.

yay team