I’m generally pretty thick skinned about being called names and I don’t get upset quickly when people are stupidly racist towards me, but even I have a limit, and when I have an off day that limit is lowered.
One of my classes got to watch their Reward Movie. Usually I start the film, wait a bit for everyone to settle down and there is no further problems. Every now and then the class does not settle down to the extent that I cannot hear the dialogue. At these times I stop the film and wait, not saying anything. It takes about a minute for everyone to realise that they need to settle down before I restart.
One class today did not want to settle down. I actually timed them and seven minutes after stopping they were still going on as if nothing was wrong, with no one even attempting to quiet them down. I was starting to feel for the students who were actually quiet, so I decided to take the noise makers in to the next classroom to do some work as a punishment.
I followed them in and just as I entered in I heard the words 외국인 (foreigner) and 시발 (shit, although I am not sure of the spelling). I can still handle the swearing, but I was obviously being referred to as a foreigner in a derogatory way, by a piss ant student. I will not stand for that.
I told his teacher about it, saying that I don’t want to see him in my classroom again. She spoke to him and she said he was sorry and would like to apologise to me. In Korea, even if you don’t mean it but do make an apology, and the apology is accepted, everything is assumed to be settled. (Remember that when you are in an accident. Don’t say everything is OK or accept any money.) I was still upset about the situation and said that I was not interested in hearing his apology, or not today at least.
Apparently he will be writing me a letter and will give it to me on Monday. I’ll see how I feel about it then.