Dude, Feel The Room!

These kids are absolutely incredible.  I don’t know if it’s a Korean thing, or if I’m just surrounded by half-wits.  I’ve never seen people with so little emotional intelligence.  It seems like those most likely to make a situation completely awkward are the ones who have no idea that they are awkward.

After lunch, I came into my office to find Ms. Shin crying.  This is nothing out of the ordinary.  I think she just likes to cry.  Every time, I feel a bit awkward – I’m just don’t know what to do with myself.  My go-to response is to ask if she’s alright, and when I get the nod, I put on some headphones and pretend to work.  Once she calms down, she is usually happy to tell me what’s going on.

Today we had some visitors during crying time.  Three boys walked into the room right as she got going.  I gave them a stern look and nodded toward Ms. Shin so they would notice her crying and leave.  They looked at her for a moment, and when they looked back at me, it was clear that they were clueless.

They walked right past me and asked Ms. Shin for money to buy candy.  This only served to upset her even more.  She turned away from them so they couldn’t see her face.  Instead of taking the hint, one of the morons tapped her on the shoulder and asked her again for money – this time a little louder.  She was sobbing so hard that she couldn’t answer.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

When the first student couldn’t get her to respond, another one stepped up to the plate and said her name three times before I got pissed off and grabbed him.  I dragged him out of the room, expecting the other two to follow. They didn’t.  I had to grab each one of them individually and physically remove them from the office.  I was so pissed off that I had to close and lock the door.  When one of them came back and knocked, I almost exploded.  Fortunately, another teacher came in and told him to leave.

I’m curious if this sort of thing happens in other schools (and in other countries).  Is this total lack of social intelligence a Korean thing, or is it happening because many of my students are just not too bright?  I’d love to hear what you think.

Until next time.

-Taft

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6 thoughts on “Dude, Feel The Room!

  1. Punkin says:

    I’m surprised that the police officer in you didn’t knock there heads together really good
    before you showed them the door !!

  2. watao0oo says:

    I don’t have teachers sobbing in the teacher’s office, but I have had a few students started crying during class (can’t figure out why), all of the students would try to comfort her, while one would scream out “she’s crying” (so that I know). And me being awkward, do the same as you and ask if they were ok and get the same nod. So I think most of my students would be able to get the hint that the teacher is not in the mood to talk and walk away. I don’t know if that has to do with them being girls though…

    • wtl0715 says:

      I bet you’re right – girls are probably a lot more in tune to emotional stuff like other people crying.

      • Punkin says:

        Do you think some of it is to get attention ?

      • wtl0715 says:

        I have no idea – maybe so. I think, though, that these kids just had no idea that it was inappropriate. I hope that’s the case, at least. If they were doing it for attention, then that is indicative of a serious social issue on their part.

  3. Wow. This sounds like every day at my school. Property damage, theft, beatings, without any regard for health, emotions, long-term psychological damage.

    Yeah, yeah, they’re kids…blah, blah, whatever.

    Here’s my take Taft: Every so often, my neighbors beat each other and yell violently. All the ajummas and ajussis around me drink like fish. These kids are probably so used to seeing women/siblings cry that it doesn’t even register that something is wrong. And they’re going to grow up and employ the same coping mechanisms their parents/grandparents used, namely beatings and drinking.

    “Look! It’s a perpetual motion machine!”

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