Saturday, March 12, 2011

Suramu Danku, and Hyeongnim Status

... or Slam Dunk is the name of a Japanese manga comic series familiar to most Korean males under 30. It centers around the Shohoku high school basketball team, and particularly the exploits of a delinqent named Sakuragi who is rehabilitated as this team of misfits fights its way toward the national championship.
I mention this because I was informed by my new co-teacher Mr Kim (he of the case of the switched amplifier) that it is the source of my new nickname among the freshyear students.  Study the team image above and see if you can figure out who the students think I resemble.
Tough choice, I know, but if you picked Mitsuyoshi Anzai, the team coach in the brown jacket, give yourself two points.  At first, I wasn't sure I liked being nicknamed for a manga character, but after reading up a bit on the series, it's actually a compliment.  Anzai is known as the "white-haired Buddha" because of his mild manner and strategic brilliance as a coach, and Sakuragi rubs his belly sometimes--I allowed a group of players at my old school to do the same thing, for luck.

This conversation took place at the first English Department meeting of the year, which began at a really upscale restaurant near Balsan named Tteokssamsidae, which means something like rice flour dumpling wrap times, and whose specialty involved wrapping the meat not in lettuce leaves but in thin sheets of ddeok.  We moved to second round in Deungchon-dong where mass quantities were consumed before finishing up with third round in a noraebang. 

At the conclusion of the evening Mr Right, who took over as Dept Chair, was quite moved, or drunk, or something, and told me that from now on he considers me his hyeongnim.  This is a rare conferring of an honor on a foreigner, or at least that's the way I'm going to look at it.  Anyway, it got the new school year off to a good start, as I gleaned that the four new teachers are rather "livelier" than last year's crop.  Good. 


George Bailey Sees The World! said...

Ha ha ha... that's fantastic. Sounds like you have a very good situation again this year. Enjoy!

Chris said...

I've had that ddok-wrapping a few times - it's really good!

조안나 said...

wow, the resemblance is perfect... how are your basketball skills?

Tuttle said...

J-A: My skills lie more in soccer, but it's really my coaching acumen in question. I can say that my teams were almost always overperformers.