Sunday, April 27, 2008

Barbie Versus Mullet

Foreign women are often wary when it comes to getting a hair cut in Korea Land. I’ve met many a woman who simply refuses to get a haircut for their entire year here. These concerns aren’t entirely illogical. While there are certainly Koreans with thick or curly hair, they are few and far between. On the whole, if you don’t have straight, fine hair, your hair dresser probably doesn't have as much experience cutting hair of your type. There are probably hair dressers here that haven’t a clue how to cut curly hair; heck, there are a number of those in Canada Land, where they don’t have a homogeneous population to fall back on as an excuse. This being said, I consider refusal to cut your hair for an entire year while in Korea to be overly cautious. If you pony-up and just get it done, the worst case scenario is that you either leave with a mullet or bangs cut half way up your scalp. A hair mishap like this is why God invented the bobby pin. I was willing to take this risk.

Those who realize that not cutting your hair for a year is ridiculous and unnecessary, tend to flock towards those hair salons that word-of-mouth has placed a well reputed English speaking hair stylist at. Should you desire to offer any input on the process without mime, this is sound logic. I heard word of such a hair stylist near Seomyeon (central Busan). The exact location is roughly a 40 minute subway ride from my apartment, and rather out of the way from where I work. In order to guarantee that I made it to work on time, I would have to wake up a full 4 hours earlier than usual. This plan was flawed.

Thirty seconds of careful deliberation determined that four hours sleep is more important than vanity. Instead of traipsing around town in search of a great haircut that might not be found, I opted to just try Random Haircutting Salon near my work. A friend of mine commented on my bravery; whether in admiration or mockery remains to be seen. Given that I’m at least a little vain, I didn’t go unprepared. I printed a photo from the internet of a haircut that was distinctly non-mullet and had a coworker help me write in Korea: no bangs, no hair shorter than shoulder length.

Upon my arrival at Random Haircutting Salon, I apologized for my inability to speak Korea and handed them the photo and notes. Within moments I was seated and having the life straightened out of my hair by three stylists. For some reason they felt that my overwhelming abundance of hair required more than one person to straighten, and that it was necessary to do this prior to cutting it. The rest of the appointment went more or less as you would expect a haircut to go; not particularly noteworthy.

Much to the dismay of my friend who had declared me brave, I did not leave with a mullet or a head full of bangs. My assumption that anybody with a pair of scissors and five minutes spent in hairdressing school could follow the photo and instructions that were provided proved correct. I wasn’t brave; merely prepared. Either I got lucky or the foreigner fear of Korean hairstylists is largely unfounded. I’ll put a dollar on the latter.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Hat Time

Death themed dreams seem to be the Treat of the Week. Apparently my indulgence of House and cheese balls wasn’t enough keep the cortex stimulated. The dreams tend to involve an acquaintance passing away, usually in an accident of some sort. Most have involved cars. My subconscious may be alerting me to the perils of not wearing a seatbelt when being buzzed around Busan by Random Cabbie. Perhaps it’s circulating a memo that some death issues still linger. The latter is most likely, though the former shouldn’t be entirely dismissed.

I wake up each morning, hours before my alarm goes off. I reflect on the scenario that my dreams treated me to do the night before, and hope that in time better dreams will come. In the meantime, I put on my Happy Hat and keep walking.

One of my students picked flowers for my on her way to school the other day. She probably picked them out of somebody else’s garden. Given that this behaviour wasn’t exactly below me at her age (or at present), I accepted them with a smile and hoped that they hadn’t been peed on. It’d be a pity if something that beautiful were sullied.

Wednesday mornings at work begin with the youngest, most hyperactive class on the books. While I thoroughly enjoy teaching The Circus, it takes every last bit of energy from me to keep the engaged. If I’m not dancing around or singing a tune, they’re not interested. I also have the attention span of a cat in heat, so I can relate. Yesterday morning I foolishly decided to positively reinforce their good behaviour with high fives. This did not end well. One moment I was exchanging a high five with Sally Student, the next there were 7 kids swarming around my chair, taking swings. I put both hands in front of my face and hoped to come out on top of this onslaught. Note to self: next time, administer the high fives from a standing position. In the end, I was too busy laughing to discuss with them the logistics of 14 hands versus 2.

Death isn’t an issue that I’ve been avidly seeking refuge from. It’s something that is there, that I deal with in pieces. Every day. The Happy Hat is not a façade under which to hide; it’s merely more pleasant to share flowers and laughter than it is to dwell on those things beyond my control. I indulge my negative thoughts in confines of my own time and space; the time that I share with others is spent pleasure seeking. I try to surround myself with people who provide that, in some form or another. My failure to write about any particular events lately is a reflection of my being so wrapped up in what’s going on, rather than a lack of hilarity. Running in overdrive to Live a Little, like never before, is my way of addressing the death issues.

Perhaps now my subconscious will be satisfied into conjuring up Dream Land images of bunnies and cotton candy?

If only somebody could pass on a memo to Dream Land that it was Happy Hat Time.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Deer in Headlights

I was a helpless young lady. Stifled by the confusion of Korea Land, I was waiting desperately for a strong personality to swoop out from the shadows and guide me in the right direction. The utterances that spilled from my mouth, the words that flowed from my finger tips, the discreet slouch of my shoulders; collectively, they screamed out to the world: “Help me! I’m needy and dependent! Hold my hand, dammit!” All this time I’d foolishly considered myself to be strong. Independent. I see now I was just acting out in denial of the truth that lied beneath. I could have spent an entire lifetime not realizing that my entire being was a pretentious façade if not for the intervention of the President of Dyssemia Anonymous. Finally, my hand is being held.

Last week, for the first time in my life, somebody mistook me as dependent female looking for a pat on the back. I boarded a plane to Korea with less than 300 dollars to my name. I’m That Girl that spent half an hour wandering around a Quebec City parking garage by myself looking for an ATM at 2am, because when nobody volunteered to join I realized that my legs still had motion; the one that ate alone from time to time when living in university residence because I didn’t happen to be on the same hunger clock as everybody else; the one that traveled to New York City by herself three times; the one that has never seen the need to wait for others to fulfill her own needs. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I need money, I get the cash. If I need a washroom, I find a washroom. There is no shame in cherishing the company of others and knowing that you have people to lean on, but to use those people as hand holders to guide you through the walk of life is heavily dependent. Heavy dependence is weakness. I am not weak.

Cue another Friday Night.

The Plan had been to join The April and Shanna in Seomyeon for some coffee then jet off on the last subway. A lifetime of inability to budget had finally caught up to me in Korea. This meant that if I wished to eat through till payday Tuesday, a seriously hobo weekend was in store. As per usual, The Plan didn’t quite stick. I’m apparently a Yes Person; I’ll kick the hanging handles in subway cars for a dollar, and I’ll stay out past budget without needing to be asked twice. Coffee somehow turned into a trip to the Rock & Roll bar down the road. The Rock & Roll bar successfully combines a number of elements which I believe to be essential in considering where among the greatest places on earth a particular spot ranks: a sports package that carries hockey games, free mashed potatoes and gravy on Fridays, ginger ale, and playing cards. It was dropped from consideration on account of having an obscenely low Frat Boy to Barbie ratio, but remains high on my list of places to be. When presented with the option, The Plan died a swift death.

The April, myself and Shanna were having a discussion of inappropriate sorts when an acquaintance of theirs, Drunk Guy, joined us at the table. I’ve met Drunk Guy exactly two times, and each time he’s been boozed beyond belief. At 9pm. He was sharing with us his desire to get a website going which would provide a detailed database of how the male anatomy of foreigners in Korea measures up; this was his way of giving back to the women of the world, you see. This was terribly amusing, so his continued company was highly encouraged. Closely behind him followed Blonde Lady; her verbal dissertation detailing how her anatomy doesn’t allow for much girth was thoroughly entertaining, so we let her stick, too. Much to the dismay of anybody who was not a complete social retard, The President of Dyssemia Anonymous (Poda) followed shortly behind both. He rather sucked.

Every once in a while I am immediately weirded out by the mere presence of somebody that I’ve never before encountered. Within a split second, without them even having to utter a word, they are swiftly shifted from the ‘Nonexistent’ category to the ‘Note to self: sleep with one eye open” files. Something about Poda was so inherently creepy that I instantaneously felt the need to shower when he took a seat at our table. I hoped and prayed that if I failed to acknowledge him (beyond the base level of cordialness the situation called for) that he would think I sucked and not bother to engage me in conversation. This went about as well as the last time that I asked the universe for somebody who had similar tastes as me in beer and hockey teams.

Tragically, Poda apparently lacks the ability to read nonverbal cues. While one who is subject to this condition can receive formal training in order to improve the quality of their social relations, this man clearly had not. Being completely oblivious of his social shortcomings has made him not just creepy, but overbearingly arrogant. When Poda stopped creeping in the peripheral and leaned over to ask if he could take the chair beside me, I could hardly contain my excitement. My pants nearly hit the floor. My brain’s unfortunate habit of mistaking that potent combination of fear and disgust as sexual arousal has led to many a sticky situation. Thankfully, I caught myself just in time and curtly advised Poda that he could sit there if he wished.

As Poda shifted towards the chair, I immediately turned my attention to the person furthest away from him at the table. Speaking to Shanna meant that not only was I not speaking to Poda, but I was looking in the opposite direction of him. About a minute into the conversation I noticed that Poda had been lurking in my periphery, staring incessantly, totally engaged in a conversation that he was not a part of. I tired of this fairly quickly, halted my conversation with Shanna, and said: “Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t help but notice that you’re staring. It’s making me rather uncomfortable, so could you please stop?” Poda was completely taken aback. Didn’t I realize that he was people, too?

Now, I realize that in the off chance that my intuition was wrong here, and this guy was harmless, kind, and just a touch socially unaware, that I was being unnecessarily bitchy. My issue with him wasn’t that he was socially retarded; I only discovered that he completely lacked any clue whatsoever after my Creepdar had been activated. Given my propensity to refer to myself in writing as “Barbie”, I will be the last person to alienate another on account of questionable social skills. However, I will be the first to assert myself in a situation where I feel threatened in any way. Everything about Poda struck me as offensive and threatening. His demeanor, tone of voice, body language; all those elements of nonverbal communication that he failed to read in me, led to only one conclusion: This guy sucked. I wasn’t quite sure why he sucked, and I didn’t want to stick around him long enough to find out.

Understandably, Poda was offended with how I asserted myself towards him. Whether he was just trying to be friendly or blatantly hit on me mattered not; either way, I had just very publicly rejected whatever his interests in me were. Aghast, he looked towards The April and Shanna in disbelief. “Can you believe this? She’s accusing me of staring at her?” He was obviously clueless or hoping that they had somehow failed to pick up on his creep vibes. Shanna set him straight: “Well, then maybe you should quit staring at her”. Poda was in absolute disbelief. Whether he was shocked that other people noticed he was a creeper, or that he hadn’t won us over with his irresistible charm, is still in debate. I presume it was the former, as he spent the next minute trying to convince us of his good intentions.

Poda had been misunderstood, you see. I had stood out to him, from across the bar, as a “deer in headlights”. He saw me as a lost soul, new to the harsh world of Korea, looking for guidance that only he could provide. He swooped to our table, not to creep, but to show me the way. Couldn’t I see this? Did I think that I already “knew it all”? His ranting died fairly quickly, as I refused to respond to it in any way, not even batting an eye in his direction. Poda was pathetically looking for any sign of weakness that he could grab onto and pad his ego with. I’m not That Person. Realizing that I wasn’t biting, he took his coat and disappeared a few moments later; presumably so that he could go post over here about how the Western women in Korea are fat, bitchy, and not deserving of great men like him.

I received props from the remainder of the table for getting rid of Poda. We all agreed that while Barbie oozes Frat Boy Friendly Pheromones, that she leaves a waft of Creeper Mace in her trail. Not surprisingly, the quality of conversation picked up significantly after his departure.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Barbie Reflects; Deeps Thoughts Are Lacking

I’ve been in Korea Land for six months. It’s countdown time, contractually speaking. I was going to try to write a meaningful summary of my experiences here so far, the good, the bad and the unmentionables. Somewhere between then and now I got the distinct taste of bile in my mouth over the thought of doing so. I’d really much rather discuss how I’d like the Washington Ovechkin’s to spend the first round of the playoffs bending over, how my white comforter is looking a trifle grey since I washed it with a red sweater, how there is a fine film of dust building up as a result of my refusal to clean my apartment, or why my potatoes look green. Should I still eat them?

Korea Land was originally intended to be a one year break from the rather bleak reality that was my life in Canada Land. The purpose was to travel a bit, pay off some debt, and take a hiatus from Everything That Sucked. I somehow failed to consider the possibility that this much time away from home would merely fuel my lust for travel and experience; that it would be asinine to ever again tolerate Everything That Sucked when I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t have to be That Way.

My father has been calling me out for being self centred for as long as I can remember; probably not long after I learned how to speak, which led to many an hour spent verbalizing thoughts about myself. That I blog on end about myself, people I know, and what we do, does nothing to refute his claims. Bearing this mind, I came over here hoping that time in Canada Land would just sort of stop. That is, that nothing of note would happen when I was gone. Nobody would breed, marry, or die. In my mind, these were simple requests to ask of the universe. I certainly don’t plan on doing any of those things anytime in the foreseeable future; it confuses me when people have other ideas.

When you make the choice to move abroad for a period of time, you do so knowing that life will go on without you ; you just kind of hope that it does so with little fanfare. I like to hear that everybody back home is healthy, happy, and that no, nothing is really new. Same old, same old! While weddings themselves are a bit of a snore, the after parties tend to be worth the price of admission. Knowing that I missed one saddens me a touch. Other people’s babies are cute and lovable. The best part about them is knowing that they aren’t coming home with you. It saddened me a bit to learn that my life long friend would have hers in my absence; I would have liked to have been there for it. Both of these things only sadden me because I’m missing them; at the core I’m happy for both of my friends. When another friend passed away suddenly in January, there was no happiness to fall back on.

Sometimes, there is no silver lining; no upside to lean on or optimism to be found. Time doesn’t heal all wounds; it merely allows for the worst to become bearable. Time allows us to make sense of what we can’t control by focusing on what we can. The choice to make a life change following tragedy resets the control scales. My choice was to see myself as a whole, rather than individual pieces to dissect. This will not undo the damage that has been done and might not even make me a better person; it’s the perception of moving forward, that my choices still matter, which is important.

Separation anxiety aside, six months removed from Everything That Sucked has done me a world of good. The extended holiday has been so good to me that friends from home occasionally express concern that I might not return. No worries – or an abundance of them, depending on how much you like me – I’ll be returning to Canada Land when my contract comes to an end mid October. To stay here would be to run away from Everything That Sucked; everything doesn’t have to suck quite that badly, anymore. Nor is my only option whatever becomes of Everything That Sucked. My promise is to return to Canada Land – not to stay there.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Golden Drunk’s Fishy Debacle

Rarely are drunken shenanigans of worthy of repetition. Being drunk and stupid in Korea is no more interesting than being drunk or stupid in Canada; in either case, few stories of any interest are likely to emerge. Every once in a while a mixture of one part stupid and two parts absurd blend and I feel compelled to share. Such was the case when I expressed befuddlement over the ingrate that was Random Frat Boy. Such is the case now. Months removed from first learning of The Golden Drunk’s predicament with Cain, tequila, and fifty dollars worth of fish, I’m no closer to understanding what in the Hell Cain was thinking.

Cue another random Saturday evening. December something-or-other. The Golden Drunk and her boyfriend of the time, Cain, were somewhere stumbling around Busan, poisoning their livers in the hopes that one more drink would wash away that nagging feeling that they held in their hands their only commonality. I often humoured the thought of the two of them having a conversation of actual substance and concluded that each attempt probably ended in a tequila shot. If my suspicions were accurate, it would go a part way towards explaining what was about to unfold.

On the way back to The Golden Drunk’s apartment, the unlikely pair passed a seafood restaurant. This is hardly a remarkable event. On every corner in Busan there is a cell phone shop. Across the street is a kimbap restaurant. Diagonal to that is a seafood restaurant. A cosmetics shop or Paris Baguette is likely to fill out the remaining hole in the intersection. If you frequent my neighborhood, you may find a Love Motel or Massage Parlor in place of the seafood restaurant. The Golden Drunk and Cain were not in my neighborhood. They were near the beach, where seafood restaurants are so in abundance that they rarely warrant a second glance. Unless you’re Cain, you’re well past your limit on the tequila, and you feel compelled to be a hero. Of the Sea.

Cain, Hero of the Sea, was unable to stomach the idea that all of those beautiful, innocent fish being exploited in the seafood restaurant’s window aquarium would soon be reduced to fillet. He saw a much greater purpose for his finned friends: death by deoxygenation.

The Golden Drunk found Cain’s newfound kinship to his finned friends rather disconcerting. Had he never eaten seafood before? Since when did he care so much about killing animals? Cain loves steak! Are cows not people, too? Much arguing ensued and, if my imagination has it right, some serious hair pulling and possibly a bitch slap followed. Hopefully one of those classy full-armed white trash bitch smacks that I perfected on my friends in high school. Anything less would be seriously disappointing.

Cain wasn’t going to let a bruised cheek or even The Golden Drunk’s empty threats to withhold sex deter him: it was his purpose to save these fish from this cruel, cruel world. While the restaurant manager undoubtedly thought Cain was off his rocker, money talks: Cain walked out of there with 50 bucks worth of fish. Alive, bagged, swimmingly happy in anticipation of their new life with the Hero of the Sea.

As The Golden Drunk had pointed out, there was simply no way that they could keep half a dozen fish, each half a foot long, alive and well in her apartment. In spite of further bickering, Cain refused to accept that he was marching his new friends to an untimely death. With nowhere else to put them, The Golden Drunk and Cain filled every pot, pan, and large bowl in the apartment with tap water. Tap water.

Much to the shock of nobody, Cain’s finned friends were swimless by the time the two of them awoke.

In his efforts to save his finned friends from the cruel fate of somebody’s dinner plate, Cain, lover of all other kinds of carcass, spent fifty dollars so that these fish could die a painful death by drowning. And then be thrown into the dumpster behind The Golden Drunk’s apartment. Hero of the Sea, indeed.

The legs on The Golden Drunk and Cain’s relationship fell off not long after the fish incident. Next time, try a hooker. It’s cheaper, isn’t guaranteed to make your apartment smell foul in the morning, and requires minimal disposal. And, if you’re really lucky, she just might be in to that sort of thing. Nobody does dead fish; hookers are a definite maybe.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Nazis. Skin Cream. Oops?

A Korean cosmetics campaign has drawn the attention of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The folks at SWC were less than impressed to find an abundance of "Nazi imagery" in Coreana Cosmetic's Co.'s recent commercial for skin cream. The 30 second spot featured some general military imagery, with a swastika thrown in for good measure. The original version of the same ad reportedly contained the slogan: "Even Hitler didn't have the East and West." Apparently somebody at Coreana Cosmetic Co. decided that subtly was a lost art form and nixed that part. Either way, the SWC wasn't particularly amused to find that the advertising department at Coreana Cosmetic's failed to receive the memo that giving Hitler a spot in your commercial might be considered just a tad insensitive.

Even after having a couple of days to sit on this, I'm shocked that this one snuck by the Korea Land censors. Stunned! It's not like there's a Hitler HOF in the same neighborhood as my school, or anything. There's simply no way that a civilized society would allow for something so potentially offensive to stand.

Right? Right.

In news completely unrelated to bigotry, last week I was informed by one of my coworkers that "Koreans aren't racist". None of them. "It's different than in Canada". It sure is! More on that later.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Just In: Barbie Teacher Went Through Puberty, Once

I learned to embrace my shape at a very young age. Or at the very least, accept it for what it is. I first acknowledged that I had child bearing hips when I was 12 years old. It took another ten years to grow into them. Once in a blue moon somebody will attempt to insult me by pointing out that my physique is perfectly designed to fill out my evolutionary purpose. While they never articulate it quite in that manner, the underlying message is the same. Of course, those who think that “you could spit out three at a time with those hips!” qualifies as a passable insult are generally too stupid to see it this way.

Tuesdays and Thursdays at Barbie Hagwon begin with a quartet of overactive 9 year old boys. They like to eat paper, run circles around the table, and tattle on one another for speaking Korea. Often, they will accidentally slip in some Korean while tattling on their friend. They’re all kinds of special.

When I first took over the class from the Not So Native English Speaker who left at the beginning of January, I found them completely unbearable. Just a couple of months later, I’ve trained to the point that they’ve completely lost interest in seeing who can piss me off the fastest. They’re still overactive and mildly irritating, but in a much more controlled fashion. In other words, I can usually get through a lesson without any outburst, which results in the reward of playing some lame game that I don’t particularly enjoy for the last 5 minutes of class.

Last Thursday, for the first time in months, I felt compelled to remove my coat in the classroom. It’s usually so bloody cold at Barbie Hawgon that I leave my ski coat on all day long. On this day, I was wearing a loose blouse and dress pants. Appropriate, and conservative. I make a point of dressing more conservatively here than I would in Canada Land, in the hopes of not drawing any more attention to myself than necessary. This is all in vain, of course, but I respect myself more for doing it.

I removed the coat and walked around the table to make sure that nobody was cheating in this horrible, horrible game that really sucks. If one of them is caught cheating, somebody else will get upset, and fisticuffs will ensue. Gotta nip that in the bud! Blood is messy. As I’m wandering, Leo Student stops whatever it was he was doing in this dumb, dumb game and says, “Teacher! Teacher!” His voice is rather grating when he repeats himself in this manner. I inquire as to what it is he wants. Leo Student says, “Teacher! Teacher hip!”

Colour me confused.

This is an introductory class, so I figured that it was grossly unlikely that he knew either the anatomical or slang meanings of the word hip. I assumed that I must have heard him wrong and made it clear that I thought he was making no sense. Leo Student was annoyed at this and repeated himself while smacking his right hip. “Teacher! Hip! It big. Hip big!”. Apparently Leo Student felt it was appropriate to play the role of Captain Obvious for us that day. I laughed and told him that some day he’s going to have big hips, too. Leo Student was saddened by this lie. Then he remembered that he was playing a really stupid game, and forgot all about Barbie Teacher's big hips.

God bless that stupid game. Whatever it's called.

The Talk is so not included in my job description.

Barbie Teacher is Monkey!

I am a fairly compensated Talking Monkey. Even my students think so.

I’ll be the first to admit that my job entails very little in the way of skill. If my occasional peak at message boards frequented by other English teachers in Korea is anything to go by, one doesn’t even need a working knowledge of the English language. The check list of qualifications required to teach English at your typical hagwon in Korea is looks something like this:

1 - Are you from Korea? No? Fantastic.
2 - Are you whiter than white? No? Look into purchasing some whitening cream and you’re temporarily forgiven. Good news! In Korea, there is whitening cream in everything, from your facial moisturizer to the dye in your clothing.
3 - Can you speak something that at least sounds somewhat like English? Oui? Fabulous!
4 - Do you have a university degree, or at least a shiny piece of paper that kind of looks like it could be? Yes? Super!
5 - Do you have any interest in teaching? Not particularly, but you’re awfully fond of money? Sold!

Higher paying jobs and those which offer more vacation time tend to be a little pickier than your typical hagwon. They may actually be interested in knowing that you can spell, too. I’ve heard of some institutes that are interested in learning whether or not you’re a qualified educator, but they’re few and far between. The reality for most foreigners teaching English in Korea is that we really are Talking Monkeys. Our job is to provide a foreign presence. If one decides to go above and beyond that and actually take their role as an educator seriously, that’s fantastic. If one thinks that this is lame and would rather stumble into their 8am classes only two hours removed from a serious drinking binge, the sad reality is that they’re probably not going to get fired. As long as they show up on time, they may not even get criticized.

I know my place here. I know that while I chose to arrive at the hagwon half an hour before class, to not drink during the week, and to prepare each lesson, that the vast majority of the time my efforts will go unnoticed. I don’t take my job seriously because I’m vainly searching for praise; I do it because I wouldn’t respect myself otherwise.

Each Wednesday, I begin the day with eight screaming six year olds. They’re just darling. It’s an introductory class, so I spend a good deal of time miming as I speak. The Talking Monkey becomes the Dancing Monkey. It’s a good deal of fun, so I don’t really mind.

On this particular Wednesday, the children weren’t too keen on listening. The activity that we were working through required them to repeat what I said, and nothing more. They so weren’t feeling it, and blabbered at one another in Korean. Dancing Monkey time! I ordered the class to be quiet, and announced that it was time to listen, while grabbing at my ear. Body language excellence! Belle Student either misunderstood my message, or hates me a whole lot. Seeing me grab at my ear resulted in her breaking into a fit of hysterical giggles. The giggling subsided shortly after, because breathing is important. After taking a moment to get some air, she grabbed both of her ears, screwed up her face and said: “Teacher Monkey! Ooo! Woo!” For her efforts, Belle Student won herself a free date in the hallway with Captain Nobody.

While Belle Student wasn’t exactly incorrect in her mockery, Barbie Teacher really doesn’t need six year olds to put her in her place. Even though I found Belle Student’s mockery of my actions rather amusing, I had to put on an Angry Face and feign indignation.