The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week, and showcase books (and, for me, music) every Sunday.
The new school year started: A batch of fresh-faced 1st graders arrived, staff were moved around to different offices, and the old students returned looking quite grown up. As everyone piled into the gymnasium for the school’s opening ceremony, I actually got quite teary-eyed (surprise surprise!): I’ve been teaching the 3rd graders for 2 years now but won’t be around to see them graduate; My 2nd graders have finally shrugged off last year’s wild beginnings and have returned with a long-awaited maturity; And the little ones? I won’t get to know them at all.
Seeing all of the kids together in one place finally made me realise that I’m really going to miss them. I love them all and worry about their future. They deserve an English teacher who loves what she/he does and puts 110% into teaching them. I’m not saying I’m the world’s greatest but, for the last 2 years, I’ve put my heart and soul into what I do because my kids deserve it. I can only hope that whoever replaces me doesn’t come here just to waste time and earn a bit of money (because, believe me, there are plenty of those). My kids won’t go to college so their English classes aren’t a priority. That doesn’t mean they only deserve minimum effort from their teacher.
Anyway, the schedules are still being sorted out so I’ve only managed to teach one class so far. These new 1st graders are definitely at a higher level than I’m used to which was a pleasant surprise.
Some things never change though.
I’d love to believe that this is because I made a good impression on them. The reality is that students will do anything cutesy to get a good grade. Hilarious.
Tuesday was a holiday here so on Monday night I went out with a couple of friends for dinner and drinks. If there’s one thing you can count on in Korea it’s that Konglish is everywhere and it’s always fantastic:
One bottle of peach-flavoured soju turned into two … which then turned into three … and then I lost count. So, needless to say, most of Tuesday was spent in bed nursing a belter of a hangover and watching films.
One of them happened to be one of my favourites, Some Like It Hot. I hadn’t watched it for a while but every time I put it on, there’s always one nagging question that comes to mind:
How in the hell did they actually get away with putting Marilyn into this dress in 1959? Don’t get me wrong – I love it. But I think we can all agree that even by today’s standards, it would be considered “revealing”. How did they do it in 1959?
Books Read This Week
Yes I Can ended up being one of those books that you enjoy so much you don’t want it to end. Who knew that Sammy Davis Jr. could produce a book that is so full of raw and inspiring lessons about history, race, and culture?
I could sit here all day and go on and on about why I loved this book. Instead, I’m going to quote one of my favourite passages:
Charley Joke-teller doesn’t understand that violence is the smallest part of prejudice. He’s standing in the middle of a social revolution, telling his little jokes, thoughtlessly assuring people that we all carry knives and steal and lie, until it’s hardly any wonder that when we try going to school with you, some guy who’s been convinced is ready to crack open our skulls to prevent it.
As awful as violence is, at least it’s out in the open where it can be recognised and handled and eventually it’s ended. But the jokes keep on, quietly, subversively, like a cancer, rotting away the foundations of hope for the N***o, stealing the dignity on which we can build respected lives.
And as bad as the jokes, are the words – the put-down words like ‘n*****,’ ‘k***,’ ‘c****,’ ‘w**,’ ‘s****.’ I hear them used between buddies, good-naturedly, but anyone who thinks he’s above prejudice, so he can use them affectionately or humorously is missing the point: If a person sincerely desires to stamp out a sickness he can’t keep a few of its germs alive just for laughs. Before we can reach a Utopia in human relations those jokes and those words and the legends which they perpetuate must die.
You can pass legislation for desegregation, but you can’t legislate people’s minds and that’s where the progress must finally be made, in people’s minds and in their hearts. Opening school doors and job opportunities is the first step, but it’s like hacking off the top of a weed: After we do it we’ve got to get down and pull out the roots so that it won’t keep growing. We’ve got to get to the source of racial intolerance, of prejudice – the ignorance, the clinging to long outdated legends which continue to distort the picture of the American N***o. When people reach the point at which they examine the facts then there’ll be little or no need for laws that say colored kids can go to school with white kids because I really believe there won’t be anybody suggesting that they shouldn’t.
I loved Sammy’s voice: Whether he was examining the human condition, Judaism, race, society, or his own fame, I couldn’t get enough of his story. As soon as I finished the book, I downloaded the sequel Why Me? onto my Kindle but am trying to force myself to take a break and read something else before I dive back into his world.
Right now I have my nose buried deep in this gem. This is the sequel to Webster’s Daddy Long Legs, a book I picked up in India and ended up loving just as much as the film adaptation with Fred Astaire.
Currently Listening to:
There was no focus on one particular musician/band this week. Instead, I just left my iPod on shuffle. Here were a few songs I ended up putting on repeat though:
(Nothing like a bit of 60s slut-shaming, eh? Maybe Sue went out with other guys because you are nothing but a ‘Wanderer‘, Dion.)
(The world’s most depressing song and yet I can’t stop listening to it.)
(If I could make love to a singing voice right now, it would be this one.)
Links to things I loved this week:
Is the Kesha Case a Hangover from the 1970s? @ The Guardian
How to Be a Mindful Traveler @ Willful and Wildhearted