Hot For Teacher

Every week, as new students come or go, we hold an orientation and a graduation ceremony. At orientation, students are instructed on the camp rules and teachers stand up and give introductions. At graduation, a slideshow of pictures is played, including each teacher’s name and photo. During both introductions and the slideshows, the ridiculous screaming reminds me of how male foreigners are viewed to be sex symbols, even among elementary school girls. The screams get especially louder for a special select few of our guys; things get even more intense as the week continues. One might view the crazy antics of these girls as on par with those the Beatles endured back in the 70s.
I have to admit, it’s quite adorable when 7 year old girls are seen in a group pointing at Paul or Eric (two of the favorites), giggling like well, schoolgirls. It’s innocent enough. A few weeks ago, however, we had a group of middle school students who were participating in our ten day program. I was responsible for conducting the team’s week-long ESL classes: communication, writing, and reading. They were a really great group, as they were higher level and really well-behaved. Three of the girls in my class were especially outgoing and each had a crush on different male teachers. Crush may be underexagerating the situation a bit; obsession would be more appropriate.

The girls got a hand on the staff’s board in the lobby. They made a list of the “Handsome guys!”: Paul, Eric, Edward, Tattooed guy [James], and Jack Effron. I’m guessing they were going for Zach Effron.

The girls, unlike Americans their age, were quite straightforward and announced to the class early on their intentions of stalking Oliver, Eric, and Paul during the entirety of their stay at SEV. During break time, each girl sought after their love to profess their admiration. I thought it was funny at first, and even encouraged it, as it was quite entertaining. On the third day, after the 3,239th time Christine told me, “I love Paul,” I was ready to slap her silly. In fact, after giving an assignment to create sentences using different vocabulary words, I was not surprised to see that every single sentence was about him:

Frequent: I say, “I love Paul” frequent.
Treasure: Paul is my treasure.
Grief: I grief because I part from Paul soon.
[After Paul told her he had a girlfriend…]
Empty: My heart is empty.

Christine’s sentences only about Paul… creepy.

“I think about Paul all the time.”

The girls’ antics got so bad that the guys ended up having to stay in the office during breaks. I felt pretty bad for them, seeing that it could be a seriously awkward situation; these girls were 15 and not 7, and throwing themselves at them all day, everyday. At one point, after Melissa told one girl that she was engaged to Eric, the girl started crying and was extremely angry when I told her it was a joke.

I may have had my stalker moments as a teenager, but I don’t think anything compares to this.

I suppose the whole obsession-with-the-foreign-teacher thing is more teeny-bopperish than anything, but I just can not imagine Western girls doing the same things. I remember gushing about crushes in diaries and staying up all night talking about boys on the phone. Yet, I don’t think any of us would have had been ballsy enough to make such gestures like the ones I witnessed. Still, the crushes that the Korean girls have keep me entertained and I continue to look forward to the crying and marriage proposals that will undoubtedly occur in the future.