02 July 2007

My name is Keguri Kogi.

Last week my kindergarteners were all telling me their Korean names and laughing at my pronunciation of them. Hudson took things a step further by inquiring, "Teacher, you Korean name what?"

"I don't have a Korean name," I replied, "only an English one."

Unthinkable. The kids decided to immediately fill the void in my nomenclature. They called a round table and the discussion began. William wanted to name me after his baby brother. Joshua wanted to name me after himself. Both ideas were discarded rather quickly. Julie suggested Eddison and it was I who pointed out that the name wasn't even Korean. Finally a consensus was reached.

"Teacher," Hudson announced, "You Korean name Keguri Kogi." I repeated the name, "Gagori Goggi?" Everyone laughed. I spent the next fifteen minutes undergoing a grueling session of pronunciation training. I practiced using it in a sentence, "Cho-nun Keguri Kogi yeyo." My name is Keguri Kogi.

"Does it mean something?" The class laughed. I took it as a bad sign. At my next break I asked Sateen, one of the Korean staff members, "What does Keguri Kogi mean?"


"Keguri Kogi"

"Keri Kogi?"

"No, Keguri Kogi"

"Kakula Kogi?"

"No, Keguri Kogi"

"Kurika Kogi?"

"No, Keguri Kogi"

"Keguri Kogi?"



"Just curious"

"It means the frog meat."


"Like eating frogs, the meat of them. Frog meat."

My name is Frog Meat. I told Sateen.

"Well," she said, "It's very unique, yeah?"

I think for now I'll probably stick with Tunnisa, the closest Korean pronunciation of my name.

Monsoon season has started. It's been raining for about four days now, but not heavily. I rather like it, actually. This morning when I went walking I had the whole track to myself. That was cool. And my clothes didn't get gross and sweaty, so I don't feel compelled to wash them before I walk tomorrow, just hang them to dry. And, I just so happen to own four umbrellas. So let it rain, I say.

I have a brown rice mask on my face right now and it smells like Soju, the rice liquor that everyone drinks out here. I hope the smell is rice related. It would be a bad thing to be an intoxicated kindergarten teacher, I assume.

I had my first open house last Friday. It was my second graders. All of their parents came to watch our class. The idea was that it was a standard class, but the administration wouldn't actually let us have a standard class. Every line had to be rehearsed and memorized, and we had a PowerPoint presentation, and I had to dress up, which may have been the worst part. All in all things went pretty well. The topic of our class period was party planning and each student gave a speech outlining the sequence for planning different aspects of a party. The speeches were all great, except for Michael. Despite having memorized a speech on party locations that he'd been reciting verbatim for two weeks now, he decided to go free style at the presentation. The best part was that he still pointed to all of the bullet points in his slide show. So he would point to "1. Think about what kind of party it will be" and say "We play the computer." then point to "2. Find out who is in charge of the party" and say "We play the playground."

Ahhh, well.

Anyhow, I'm going to go wash the rice liquor off of my face then come back and read this again with glasses on. Then maybe I'll post it.

Love to all,
Frog Meat

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