Happy Teachers’ Day!

CardsIt’s been a fairly eventful week in Tommyland. I got profiled in the Pop Candy forum at USA Today’s website, which was pretty cool. I wasn’t aware of it until I noticed that this site had gotten 75 hits for the day. I usually average around 9-10, so I thought it said 7.5 clicks, and I was trying to figure how somebody could half-click on anything, until I saw that people were coming from the Pop Candy site. So if you’ve come from there yourself, welcome and feel free to stay a while.

Also, the new Tori album has done a ‘Titanic’ (i.e. leaked), and I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last couple of days, trying to decide just how I feel about it. I’ll write an in-depth report soon, but for now, I’ll just say that it definitely has its moments of brilliance, along with some not-so-great ones. I also finished reading “Friday Night Knitting Club” (I picked it up since I heard Julia Roberts might star in the film version) and it was a breezy “chick lit” read until the Big Plot Twist hit near the end and everything turned into one manipulative cliche after another. Too bad, it was pretty enjoyable up until that point.

And today is May 15th, which means that here in Korea, it’s the one and only Teachers’ Day! As Homer Simpson would say, “Woo-hoo!” Actually, it’s not a day to cash in, since I’m working at a public elementary school now, and as such, cannot accept any presents of significant material value.

That policy didn’t apply to private after-school academies (hagwons, as they’re infamously known in Korea), so I used to come home weighed down with ties, socks, chocolate, spongy rice cakes, sometimes a watch or two, and handkerchiefs of every color and stripe imaginable (my all-time favorite gift was a small potted tomato plant; I felt bad for the little girl that lugged about five of those to our hagwon). But now, I receive flowers (carnations, natch) and letters, letters, and more letters.

I actually prefer it this way (REALLY!). It’s not easy to express yourself in a second language (even in your first, as often is my case), and for the kids to make the effort for my sake, well, it’s an honor. It may be sappy, it may induce eye-rolls, but it’s true: the children ARE our future. I will try to teach them well… (I’m not sure about the “let them lead the way” part, as their first collective move might be to declare a coup d’etat on Tommyland!)

Whitney Houston – The Greatest Love of All

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