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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Silver Town

Once a month, some of my school's 5th and 6th grade students visit a retirement home, which they call "Silver Town!"  ...obviously a ko-nglish term!  So, yesterday, I was asked to come along to take pictures so my school could submit an article (with my pictures), to the city newspaper, about their philanthropic adventures!  Let me think... leave work early, take photo's of adorable kids and old people, that could potentially be published in a foreign newspaper, and help people while I'm at it. Done and done! 

So, we arrived around 2:30pm, and the staff began wheeling in all of the "old folks," which automatically felt really depressing.  I never wanna be stuck in a place like that! 

I immediately had a new respect for my principal, who's idea it was to come here and have a mini talent show to lift their spirits.  The kids were so cute and excited to perform!

But, it wasn't long after the show began that I realized the real reason my principal organized this show. Anytime I would take a picture of the kids, he would run over and say, "Chelsey, only photo of the whole room and me making saxophone with sign! Very important Chelsey!"  It wasn't about lifting the old folk's spirits or helping them in any way!  It was about him getting recognition when an article would be published about what a "wonderful principal he is" in the newspaper! Uggghhhh... I was immediately turned off, and dissapointed with Koreans in general.  It seems that nearly every philanthropic thing that Koreans do (which is a lot) is for their own personal gain... and you better believe there will lots of pictures to prove their act and a professionally made sign, hanging on the wall, to tell everyone who they are and where they're from.  Here's the sign my school paid to have made.  My principal moved it 3 times during the show, just to make sure it was in a good location for the pictures.  Ridiculous, huh?!  I don't know exactly what it says, but I can tell you my school's name is printed on it TWICE!  Recognition, recognition, recognition...

So, there I was, standing in the back of the room, taking boring pictures of the back's of their heads, like this, so they can be submitted in the newspaper and people can praise my pincipal for his acts of service!  SAD!

And of him "making the saxohpone," of course! 

When I got back to my desk at work, my phone rang... which I never answer, because usually as soon as I say "Hello," the person on the other end just hangs up on me!  So, I didn't answer this time either, but I figured it was my principal asking me to send him the pictures!  Sure enough, I was right, because when I didn't answer my phone, he walked up to my office.  "Chelsey, see photo's please!"  I showed him a couple of my favorite shots of the students, but he didn't seem interested at all... He kept saying, "next, next, next"  until we got to the pictures of him, playing the saxopone, with the sign, and the room full of people.  He said "OH, STOP," got really close to the screen and smiled.  His response? "Chelsey, very good!"  I ended up sending him 45 pictures of the adventure... some adorable pictures of the kids performing, old people smiling, and the kids interacting with them... but I can guarantee the picture that will be submitted will be of him, the sign, and his silly little saxophone.  sad... 


  1. Hi!

    I love reading your blog-- I'm just wondering why your name at school is Chelsey?? Did you HAVE to pick a different name? Or, do you have two names....? Just curious :)

  2. Well, funny story about the name thing! My name (Jill) means vagina, so the last two years I went by Alexis (at my old school), but my principal at my current school thought that name was too hard to pronounce, so I picked Chelsey! I've been Chelsey ever since! :)

  3. What a depressing side to see...the need for personal recognition. Disappointing, I'm sure! But...I love you! haha

  4. totally sounds like my principal...aarrrggggggh

  5. Seriously Bould... What is it about Principals? They all kinda have a chip on their shoulder!