A Meeting With Your Korean Prof.

12:25 pm
I looked up at the clock as the clock ticked ever so slowly.
I looked around me to find five other teammates equally impatient about the whole ordeal. We were asked to be present in front of the Prof for our first design review. (its one of the classes I am taking in Korean). The office door was wide open but could hardly see half of the room. It was pretty big I have to say. And pretty posh too.
I tried to peek through, heard some noises coming from the right hand side, saw some blurred images of people sitting down and then quickly removed my head out of view. I didn’t want to be even more conspicuous. Imagine a koala looking guy having a go at your office.
12:26 pm
Showed the clock. God damn clock. Why does it always have to go slow mo? I just want this done and dusted.
Just then, a group of gloomy looking faces appeared in sight and out of the room. All of their faces seemed to say one thing in unison: your next minutes will be much longer.
Our team leader nodded and we all went in. Three splendidly black looking couches emerged, 2 facing each other crowding out a glass table. The prof sat on the third, you know like how kings sit in the middle, yeah like that. We were asked to seat on a couch that could just fit in 2, but we managed to buddle our asses together to make ourselves comfortable in a not-so-comfortable-couch. Half of my ass hanged in midair. Why does it always have to be me?
We first had to say out our names. The prof worked his way with the names like knife on butter, duck on water, oil on fire, a Nepali on momo, a Korean on kimchi, what else?...nah.. until he had to write my name down. I know Korean names are a huge pain to remember but what I didn’t know was, for some, the vice versa applied. First, he had trouble spelling it out and then when all the other 5 members decided to join in and help the professor out, it got even more confusing for him.  Everyone had their own opinion about the name; Aphass, abbas, appbhas, koala and this went on for a few minutes. The fact that I really didn’t care meant nothing to no one. Professional people always need to be accurate. Finally, he got it through, made a joke about something to do with “Aphaass” (아팠어) meaning “pain” in past tense in Korean (which I didn’t get AT ALL but just had to laugh to go with the flow. You don’t want to look like a jackass) and he finished up quickly with the remaining people. All seemed to have gone well so far. I started looking around the office. I would really die to have an office like that. There was even the automatic cleaning robot thingi.
He started out by looking at our progress file which had a “English Literature and something” written in front instead of “Design and something” and professor did not look at all pleased. We completely forgot to change the file name when one of us decided to go green and recycle the file. God dammit. For a person who expects us to be professional even at this age, this was very very annoying indeed.
After that, I started losing touch of what was going on. Strange voices, some understandable Korean, strange voices, loud strange voices, even louder angrier stranger voices…until I saw the file pushed away to the very end of the table. Not good, I thought. I could see the prof rage with controlled anger as all of my friends put their hands on their heads in frustration. Usually, I feel pretty shit about not been able to speak and understand Korean properly, but my, was I so glad at this point. The words made no sense whatsoever.
He was now making frantic circles after pulling back the file, possibly pointing out errors as he was still loud enough for the windows to vibrate. The more pages he turned, the worse it got..until I heard something that nearly made me laugh out loud. While the prof was trying hard to explain how much we sucked (possibly), one of my teammates conspicuously announced that he had skipped lunch by launching a huge belly growl. GRrrrrLLRRRRRRRRR….. I just had to put my hand in my mouth to avoid getting a huge beating.
That pretty much took the edge off for me. And it was just pure fun when the prof was desperate to show our wrong doings, the belly would periodically release the growl and my teammate would just slap on his belly (hahahahaha, need a breather here), and act all innocent.
I really don’t know where I am going with this story but…..for this one day, I am glad that my Korean sucks. Honestly.


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