Seoul in summer sucks. I don’t know what the climate is like where you are (I’ve heard it’s jim dandy all around the planet now, thanks to global toasting), but here it’s hotter than hell. it’s as hot as helllll. it’s so hot that your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth when you say the word “hell.” on an average day in july, two minutes after taking a shower, my back is already coated with sweat.
Monsoon season mitigates the heat to some extent, but sometimes it’s even hotter and stickier after it rains. But at least the air is cleaner, so that’s something.
Yesterday I spent about three hours on the subway, shuttling back and forth from one class to another. I had to go home in the middle of the day to take a shower. Luckily, I didn’t burst into sweat immediately afterwards.
Anyway, since I feel like a robot on wheels these days, it’s sometimes a little hard for me not to lose my cool–in more ways than one. Yesterday morning after I’d changed out of my shorts in the men’s room stall into long pants, dry boxer shorts, and a fresh shirt, I went to greet my students in class.
“Good morning. How are you?”
No response. Not even eye contact.
“Fine! Two can play this game, you know? We can have a class where no one says anything? How would you like that? If someone asks you a question, you should answer it! Don’t just sit there in silence. Otherwise, it’s rude.”
Afterwards I had to backpedal and apologize for being such a loose cannon. One of my braver students kindly took the initiative to smile and tell me that sometimes Korean students weren’t confident enough to speak English. He said he’d gone to a school loaded with so many students that all they could do was sit there and listen to their teachers lecture them all day. If a teacher asked if they had any questions, no one said anything so they could get out of there sooner.
To be continued