Wednesday, May 21, 2014

소방 훈련 (Fire Drill)

Today there was a 소방 훈련 (fire drill), and unsurprisingly, I wasn't informed of it until about half an hour before it was to take place. Of course, I'm sure somebody must have announced this days ago, only it would have been in Korean, and I don't really pay attention to the announcements at teacher meetings.

A little past 4:30, the bells began ringing and dozens of students burst excitedly out of their study rooms to run outside. They weren't supposed to run, in fact, but give them any excuse to escape their study carrels, and they'll take it.

Local firefighters (소방관) had come to our school for the drill to educate us on proper safety protocols. They also allowed some students to practice using a fire extinguisher (소화기)! I think it looked pretty fun, speaking as someone who has never even touched a fire extinguisher. The white dust that blew toward the audience after the controlled fire was put out though didn't amuse them, though.
A photo I took from the last 소방 훈련 we did, way back in Fall 2012. Yay, fire extinguishers!
After the drill was over, I ran into MS, a second-year who had gotten to try her hand at firefighting.

"MS!" I called to her. "You got to use the fire extinguisher! Was it fun?"

"Oh, teacher, no," she said, looking none too happy.

"Really? Why not?" I asked.

"Because... Teacher Kang tell me, um... '시켰어요' 영어로 뭐라지?" She turned to her friend for translation help. I did a quick search through my mental dictionary.

"Teacher Kang... commanded you?" I suggested. 시키다 means 'order' or, better for this case, 'force someone to do something'.

"I didn't want to do it," MS explained, "but Teacher Kang said I am like a man, so I have to!"

That got me laughing. I assume the local firefighting unit had wanted to give the girls a chance to be involved, but the homeroom teachers probably decided that that meant only the "manliest" (i.e. strongest, sorry feminists) could properly carry out the task.

Or maybe it was a joke. I wouldn't put that past Teacher Kang.
And here's a photo of some of my old students at the time... All but nine of these students have graduated. I miss them!

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