Last the Norae Bang

For those of you living under a rock (or you know, outside of Korea) norae bang is Korean for 'singing room.' It's like karaoke but instead of singing in a bar in front of a bazillion people you get a private room. (Think of that scene in Lost in Translation.) After having dinner with my co-workers I was pressured into going to the norae bang next door. It's not that I didn't want to go...I would have just rather gone home and curled up with a book than subject anyone to my singing before massive amounts of alcohol.

Going to a norae bang with Koreans was completely different from going with foreigners. For starters, no one sat down. Everyone was standing, clapping, shaking tambourines and hooting encouragements to the singer. Of course, being the newbie, I was up first with a horribly off key rendition of 어머나, a song that I learned in Korean class a while ago. Later came 'Dancing Queen' with my co-teacher who can carry a tune but is just as shy as I am when it comes to singing in a room in front of 40 of your older coworkers. It was okay though I might have gone a bit red when the chants of 'ALEK-SUH!' started.

Whenever someone got a perfect score, the teachers would start chanting and the principal or vice principal would take out a 10,000 won bill spit on it a little (or pour a tiny bit of beer) and slap it on the TV screen. Their contribution to drinking money apparently. All in all, not a bad way to spend my evening and it did get me out of the house.

Spaz Attack: We finally got the new desks that we've been begging for all year (everyone else's desks got replaced last year but ours...and they were decrepit). Now my 6th graders actually fit under the desk without slouching awkwardly! Yesterday, I was circulating around the room before class started, asking students how they were, etc. when I walked into the edge of the desk. I promptly discovered that the edges of the desks desperately need to be sanded...since I managed to cut open my finger and start bleeding. None of my students have been harmed yet but let's face it, I'm far more of a klutz than they are. I had to run to the health room to get band-aids (and a sterile wipe to clean it out).  The nurse worries about me.