It's my first day at a new school, and already a chink's found his way in my armor.
One of them is the perfect ajeosshi stereotype: Balding, contemptuous for all things neither soju nor cigarettes, and a need for status validation that betrays a serious case of small dick. He makes Willy Loman look like Jack Donaghy. This is how my first day with him went:
(His face looks like this more than you would believe)
Five kids sit confused, doodling on books. No supervision, the Ajeosshi is absent. Ten minutes later when this slack-jaw arrives, he puts a textbook in my face and grunts at two pages. I nod unimpressed, knowing where this is going and where it ends. I begin my introduction, with basic sentences, questions, and buzz-words to elicit as many English responses as I can. Cletus shuffles off to the side of the class, giving me a few glances as he sidles closer and closer to Elsewhere.
Where does he even go? This school is tiny and there's nowhere to sleep. Having an uncooperative person remove himself from the classroom wouldn't be the worst thing, if not for two problems:
The TV is broken, meaning no projector, no audio, no powerpoint, rendering the computer useless too.
Of the five students, one has a learning disability*, and another is a runt (later revealed to also have a learning disability). I have to interrupt my lesson to shut the other kids up when they berate him, throw stuff at him, etc. The only response I can get from him is when he musters up the courage to repeat whatever is being yelled at him the loudest by the other kids who understand my question. He has significant anxiety and I can't keep his attention either.
Cletus isn't some burned out, jaded teacher. He is just a leech sucking on Uncle Kim’s teat because he knows he can’t get fired. His cohorts had no reservations about giving me, a visiting foreign teacher, a candid explanation of his personality. It was the incident after class that really made me hate this guy.
The staff had a volleyball game against a school close to where I live at 3pm, so the 1st grade teacher told me I could hitch a ride with him. As three of us are walking to the car, Cletus materializes. He vomits noise at us while brandishing a stubby finger at my face. I can't understand his Korean, but know what he's saying:
"Halten zie. Vas is das?"
I stood there for fifteen minutes while my bowels threatened to evacuate, as the school bathrooms are strictly squat-toilets. That's how long his lecture about my work hours took.
This subhuman God's joke isn't my boss. He has no authority over me. Unfortunately, from a Confucianist perspective he does have seniority over me. And I didn't know it at the time, but he is invincible...
*I really don't like using the term “learning disability”. Its colloquial usage has rendered it a misnomer for what it describes. Arrogance is a learning disability. Laziness is a learning disability. Henceforth, I will refer to retardation as 'retardation'. Retarded until proven Autistic.