Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why I need to make more bets with students

The day before our school's Sports Day (like unto Field day, only not so many ribbons), one of my students was in my office and was talking about how he would score
so many goals during the soccer games the next day.

He was so confident. So sure about it.

Of course with this kind of confidence, a bet was sure to happen. Either he would knock me off my chair with his soccer skills or he'd shatter into pieces in front of his English teacher.

I was really hoping for the latter.

So we shook on it. If he scored three goals the following day I would buy him a Coke. If he didn't, he'd buy me one.

I could already taste the sweet carbonation down my throat.

Oh Cheong-hoon. You with your matching jacket and hat. You with your soccer abilities. You came ready for Sports Day. And ready to win that Coke.

I sat in the sweltering sun for over 5 hours watching soccer game after soccer game, hoping Cheong-hoon would just stop. Stop running, stop playing, stop scoring.

But then it happened. He scored his 3rd goal.

The next day he came into my office and I made sure to pay up. He walked in with his chin held high and I walked to the fridge and pulled out a Coke. He looked shocked! Like I wouldn't hold up my end of the bargain. With a smile spread across his face, he took his spoils and walked out of the room.

I thought our deal was over...until Cheong-hoon pulled a Korean on me.

You see, Koreans are really generous people. They like to give. They don't like to take. If you give something to someone, they will give something back. And then if you give another thing, they will give another thing, until someone is giving a liver and the only way to repay this is to give a heart. It gets out of control.

So moments later Cheong-hoon walked back into my office with a gift. A box of chocolates. And then walked out.

Oh Korea.


Jill said...


Viva la Varner said...

What the?!? That is the most awesome story I have ever heard!! Why do I live in selfish America and not giving Korea? Definitely make more bets! Miss you!

Erik said...

I wish that would happen in America too