It was a Pong Night…

oh god why.

I was watching my students play beer pong last night* and I thought, “Heck, yes – this is what college is supposed to be like.”  They were totally different people from the kids I see in my classroom (the ones who are always working furiously, high-strung, and hypersensitive about a tenth of a point difference between their score and their friend’s score).  They were relaxed, confident, and happy.  They let go and just got to be university students. 

I remember some of my uni professors very well; I even remember a few assignments.  But when I think about my time in college, I don’t think about either of those things.  I think about all the hours I spent in a dingy, dark, smoke-filled basement dive bar, playing bumper pool and listening to rock music on the jukebox.  Or watching my buddies bowl on Sunday nights in the same basement bar, keeping score on a piece of paper while doing homework and seeing if anyone could get a shot shot (7-10 split; everyone buys a shot for the person who makes it).  Or going to house parties of people I didn’t even know, carrying a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade (it makes me cringe now, too) with me.  They were the best and the worst years of my life.

Students in South Korea carry a heavy load.  At my last university job, the students all had to take twelve classes a semester.  So it was nice to see the most sweet, quiet student squeal joyfully upon landing a ping pong ball in her opponent’s cup, yelling at them to drink it all after giving her partner a high five, then doubling over in laughter, her deer-like eyes twinkling. 

We remember events in flashes and moments, and that was a moment worth remembering.   

*In South Korea, it is not only welcomed by school admin for staff to spend time with students outside of school, but encouraged!  What a difference from the States (where my principal once told me I was not allowed to give my swimmers a ride home after swim practice because of liability).  


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