Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#58 Korean School

Raise your hand if you have ever attended Korean School.  Beuller? Beuller?  Raise your hand if you have ever attended Korean School while simultaneously learning tae-kwon-do, Korean calligraphy, and fan dancing while being forced to memorize the Korean national anthem? I thought so.  Even now, when I hear it playing I have the sudden urge to stand up and sing...and I don't even remember the words.  To this day all I remember is "Dong-hae-mool-gwah...blah blah blah blah....woo-ri-nah-rah mahn-saeeeeeeeee!!!!". Why this Pavlovian reflex you ask? Out of a deep sense of ethnic pride?  No.  Out of fear.  Stank Eye can cripple you (See #5) even from a distance.

Chances are, you attended Korean School at your local church on a Saturday morning.  Walk into any Korean School/Church at 9am on a Saturday and you will see baleful looking Korean children fearfully reciting the Korean alphabet or being forced to read passages on obedience out of the Korean Bible next to large portraits of the Lord.  Because of her abiding love for Jesus (see #44) a Church/Korean School is the perfect place for a Korean Mom to send her progeny.  Jesus loves Church therefore Jesus loves Korean School.  According to my Korean Mom, Jesus would make every day Saturday or Sunday just so he could go to Korean School/Church.  Why Saturday you ask?  Because if you want to go to Harvard and become a doctor or lawyer, there is no such thing as the weekend.  Ever. There is school(Mon-Fri), Korean School(Sat), and Church(Sun), until the end of time.  Forget that Saturday afternoon pool party or dinner and a movie with your buds.  Sneaking off?  Don't even think about it.  Your Korean Mom will find you and when she does, there will be a Korean School Tutor waiting for you.

For me, Korean school was the nightmare of nightmares.  Tim Burton would have creamed his pants.  I, like you had to give up every single saturday and some friday nights to attend Korean School.  However, much to my chagrin, my Korean Mom was also the Korean School President.  Let me clarify.  The Korean Mom's ability to rip away your saturdays for all eternity makes her drunk with power.  However, if she is also your Korean School teacher or any sort of authority figure, this immediately turns her into Valdemort.  Only one of you will survive.  Sorry to break it to you, but it's going to be her.

Let's back up.  Not only did I have to attend Korean School, my Korean Mom, the president of weekend torture, gave me an annual report card.  That little place called hell? Yes, I have been there and survived to tell the tale.  How did I do? You know how at the end of the year each Korean School gives out prizes for achievement?  The only trophy I ever took home was one for participation.  Basically, I came, I saw, I failed.  

Most recently, I have been preparing to take a Korean language competency exam for grad school.  Don't ask why.  I went to the source of all Korean School power to ask for her help.  After some time, she handed me this:

No, your eyes do not deceive you.  My Korean Mom created her own dictionary.  Not only will Korean Moms make you do extra homework (see #46), they will create their own dictionaries and textbooks from which you are to study.  My name is Chiyo, I am 30 years old, and I attend Korean Mom School.  *hangs head and cries*