I haven't done one of these in a while, and as the end of my contract draws near I realize there's so many students I haven't talked about!
Lina and Anna go together because they are sisters. Because of the similarity of their English names, and Korean naming conventions, I assumed they were the rare case where the English name more or less resembles the Korean name. Wrong!
Anna is the older sister, by about a year. From what I can gather she is also the favored child: the one who will get perfect grades and be prom queen and basically be a flawless daughter. Anna is at the point where she's dropped a lot of baby fat, while Lina still has a bit of chub, especially in the face. I have no doubt that this is a sticking point with Lina and her parents (mostly her mother). Anna wants to be a doctor and cure Alzheimer's; Lina I have no idea.
Towards the beginning of my career here, Lina had issues with the other girls in class, mostly about feeling like they were excluding her. There were near constant complaints from her mom, and I tried to handle it the best I could, though I kind of rolled my eyes and thought Lina was being a bit more self-centered than was necessary. This was before I knew Lina and Anna were sisters.
There's no problems now (as far as I know), mostly because with a new semester the classes all got shifted around. After ten months of teaching, I've come to realize that Lina must play second fiddle most of the time—I get the impression she hears, "Why can't you be more like your sister?" a lot. I go out of my way to give her some extra attention and affection because it seems like she doesn't have many chances to feel good about herself.
Lina and Anna were the sisters I met on the beach in Jeju, They are both cutie pies, and also just about the sweetest girls any parent could ask for. I had a blast playing with them in the water. It was all the fun parts of teaching without any of the stress—though meeting their parents was a bit awkward. They're both at a very high level of English, especially Anna, so I get to have some real conversations with them.
I've been thinking about these student profiles, and how there's so many more I want to write. Under normal circumstances, students like Lina and Anna would be my favorites, but their peers are just as interesting and funny and endearing as they are. This batch of kids has been outstanding, and I'll remember them all, but these two do stand out in particular.
“next bus outta here”
11 months ago