Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Mask

This morning at Hyeondong School, my co-teacher, Mr. Yu, performed our morning ritual. He greeted me with a friendly ‘Hello’, unlocked the door to the English lab, turned on the main computer and printer, and opened all of the windows to give some circulation to the newly-built English room. Then he followed with some morning announcements. Today, he informed me that one third of all of the Hyeondong students were ill with the swine flu, and that all of the students were obliged to wear masks to cover their noses and mouths.

He asked me if there were any cases of H1N1 influenza at Andeok Middle High, and I informed him that there hadn’t been a single case yet. He stressed that I should wear a mask, especially in Hyeondong. When I shook my head in response to, “You don’t own a mask?” he fetched one for me from one of the other teachers. I had to put it on right away.

It actually kept me pretty warm (I’m usually freezing at this school because of the open windows), as hot air came up through my mask with every breath. I took a liking to the covering that made me look like one of the characters from Street Fighter (an arcade game).


Minutes before my first class today, two students were innocently taunting a girl who was feeling a little ill, and eventually it was enough to make her request to go home.

After my first class, I was feeling a little stuffy with my mask, and the blazing gas heater that my co-teacher had newly set up in the classroom didn’t help. Not to mention seeing floods of students in the hallways all wearing white masks.

The swine flu’s getting a little scary over here...

- Jess


No comments:

Post a Comment