Where's everyone going?
Jecheon East Middle School held its school festival yesterday. It was nice, for a change, to see the kids dressed in regular clothes and having a good time. I was a little bit disappointed that no one bothered to invite me to watch the performances, but I would expect nothing less from this ice castle of a school. The teachers filtered out to watch the students sing and dance, and before I knew it, I found myself all alone in the teacher's room. Hell, North Korea could invade tomorrow and I'd be left sitting alone at my desk as the tanks rolled in.
The school actually had an "invasion drill" the other day to rehearse what they would have to do if the North invaded. Not surprisingly, I wasn't invited to attend. I'll have to fend for myself with my exacto-knife and ruler.
I was also surprised to discover that about forty students, who are training to become professional soccer players, live at the school in what appears to be a tiny concrete bunker. These "sports students" are common throughout Korea, I hear. They attend class only in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon, which alone is weird, but here's the real shocker: they are not required to take any tests. None! I used to think such specialized training programs existed only in places like Cuba, China and Axis of Evil nations. But apparently, this is how most professional athletes in Korea start out. The ones that don't make it become gym teachers.
The PE teacher Naeto Middle School was actually a weightlifting medalist at the Asian Games several years ago. I armwrestled him and nearly had my arm torn from my shoulder.