Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kids protesting?

Why are the kids protesting I thought. I mean they're walking around the hallways with signs chanting. The chants all sound the same in Korean and it's nearly impossible for me to decipher any difference. The students keep walking, keep chanting. What the hell is going on I ponder. I keep wondering when the Korean teachers will put an end to this incessant noise. Normally anything like this happens and they are all over the students. Why aren't the doing anything? Seriously, I mean this is really starting to get annoying. It's like attending a pep rally all over again.

That's when it hits me, the students aren't protesting. They are campaigning. I walk to the hallway and see several groups of students wearing sashes and carrying signs chanting the name of their friend. The make sure they stop in front of every classroom and chant for a few moments. Tactfully they hold their signs in the windows so all the students not in the halls can see who they should vote for. They walk down to the next classroom, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. "This is going to be one long ass week," I mutter to myself. My co-teacher looks at me, "It's time for class." The halls clear, blessed silence returns to my school. No more chanting, no more screaming, no more slogans.

We enter the class, the students say hello. They always say hello, like they're still surprised I'm real. It's been six months, you'd think they would expect to see me once a week. Class starts, and the lesson runs. Class runs late, it always does so its no big deal. In the hall the chanting starts, the signs appear. We're almost done and the signs are outside the window, imploring the students to vote for them. It's almost enough to make a grown man cry. This is only the first class of the day, and already the noise and signs are annoying me. Four more days of this, "how the hell am I going to make it?" The clock runs out, the halls clear, and classes resume. Silence creeps through the halls, daring any to break it.

The day wanes down, and the chanting continues. Throughout the halls the students are talking. "Did you see who is running?" "Who will you vote for?" "Why are you voting for her?" All said in a foreign tongue that is hard to understand. The students leave and I'm left to my own devices for hours on end. Thankfully, the school is quiet. Resting for the rest of the day, because tomorrow will be rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

It's Friday now. The elections have ended, and my brain is so sick of campaigning I'm having dreams about Bush the Elder saying "Read My Lips." Clinton is in the corner swearing he couldn't inhale. Bullshit. You couldn't inhale and cigars.....wait, I digress. The election is over, peace has returned. "That was fun." I mutter to myself. Thankfully it only happens once a year.

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