Caveat: obscenity

Some middle-school students were giving speeches in one class, this evening. One boy, call him Eeyore, was trying to get another boy, call him Pooh, to laugh as the latter gave his speech. So Eeyore made a sign that said something obscene in Korean and attached it to his forehead. How was I, the teacher, not supposed to notice?

I swooped in and confiscated the sign. I folded it up and placed it in my pocket. One of the girls asked, "do you know what that means?"

I said I had some idea, but that I could go ask Curt (the principal) to find out the actual meaning. This panicked the kids. Soon they were begging me to return or destroy the note.

Then I said I was going to attach the note to my own forehead and go sit in the staff room. They found this both hilarious and scandalous.

After class was over, the two boys, Eeyore and Pooh, followed me down the hall, begging and pleading for me not to show the note to Curt. They didn't want to get in trouble. I had no intention of showing the note to Curt – or, at worst, if I did, I would anonymize it – I don't actually get my students in trouble with the higher-ups very often. It's not my style.

What was funnier was when, having failed to get me return or visibly destroy the note, the boys went and recruited two of the "smart" girls from the class to come beg on their behalf. This was machiavellian – they hoped, perhaps, that I'd be more likely to accede to pleas from the girls. I didn't. Eventually, I said only, "I'm not going to show it to Curt. I'm going to put it on my blog."

"Really?" Eeyore asked, stunned.

"Yes. But I can't put your name on my blog."

He cracked a smile. He realized I wasn't, in fact, intending to get him in trouble.

So, for the record, here's what the note said: "븅신 색히" [byung-sin saek-hi]. I actually can't really figure out what this means, literally. It seems to be an alternate pronunciation/spelling of "병신 새끼" [byeong-sin sae-kki = son-of-a-bitch]. But typing the phrase into google translate gives "freaks motherfuckers" – this latter fact causes me to suspect the alternate pronunciation/spelling represents pretty strong obscenity. Korean obscenity is really hard to translate, but I think this yields some insight into the pramatics.

[Daily log: walking, 4 km]

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