I was worried that, in Mr. Kim’s absence, the good stories might dry up. Lucky for you, I’ve already been proven wrong. My new coteacher has been avoiding me all morning. She is embarrassed about a mistake she made an hour or two ago.
She brought some forms to my desk and asked me to fill them out. They were all in Korea, so she had to walk me through the parts that I didn’t understand. When we reached the last form, I was clueless – I didn’t recognize the words in bold at the top.
She told me that this form is where I write my “sexual history.” I was taken aback. My sexual history? I know Koreans love asking personal questions, but this seemed excessive (though not totally surprising, given the widely held belief that AIDS is a foreign problem). I told her that I wasn’t comfortable sharing my sexual history with whomever has access to my paperwork.
She looked at me like I’d just suggested skinning a baby with a spoon. “Why you don’t want to fill out? Are you hiding sexual things?” No, I just think some aspects of my private life are, well….private! “This is not private at Korean schools. You must be honest or people will thing you are hiding bad things.” So my choices are share the most intimate details of my private life or be branded a pervert?
She asked me to wait a minute and left the room. A few minutes later, she returned with the head English teacher. He asked why I refused fill out this form. I explained again that I’m not comfortable sharing some parts of my private life. “But Taft Teacher, if you have been charged with a sexual crime, you must tell us!”
Once I understood the purpose of the form,I filled it out immediately. She still seemed confused, so he explained the difference in “sexual history” and “sexual criminal history”. She turned beet-red, apologized and ran out of the room.
I hope she is a good sport, because I won’t soon forget about this.
Until next time.