When I left school Tuesday afternoon, the new desks were in their infancy. I arrived at school Wednesday morning to find that although the desks had been built, we couldn’t do anything but sit at them until the glass tops arrived. Thankfully, the glass tops arrived that afternoon, in the midst of a heavy rainstorm.
We were all content to let the glass air dry, until principal arrived. Then, it was mayhem. Everyone rushed around with chunks of crumpled newspaper trying to look as if they were doing something invaluable.
Finally we were allowed to set up our desks.
This morning in honor of the new desks, we were all presented with lovely warm rice cake. It was unclear who it was from or why new desks warranted rice cake.
This afternoon, as we were congratulating ourselves on our lovely new desks, and eating special Jeju oranges (presented to the staffroom by a colleague whose father had passed away (I didn’t understand it either)) the principal arrived.
He looked around the room and seemed pleased by the new desks. Suddenly his face darkened and he told the head teacher a few things. Apparently, he was pleased that our new desks looked professional but the stuff on the desks did not. Henceforth, the principal decreed, our desks shall have nothing on them.
So now we have lovely new desks we’re not supposed to use. At least this time I wasn’t the only one puzzled by the principal’s edict; the other teachers looked just as stunned.