Monday, March 9, 2009


(In which a middle school student taught me what happiness means.)

I used to work in a company that caters to Koreans who want to learn English over the internet. There are times when I wasn’t having a class and I tried to listen to some teachers while they were conducting theirs.

Teacher: Hello Students, how are you today?... Oh let’s welcome Happyday (one of the students’ names)… Wow! Everybody seemed happy to see you, Happyday!... And there’s a message from Julia and it says “Did you have a happy day today, Happyday?”… Anyway, I was curious, why did you choose the name Happyday?... Oh, so that every day is a happy day? Wow! You’re so optimistic!


I left the company and went to another one and had a job related to what I used to have. Now I teach Korean students over the phone. I’ve been working there for more than eight months and recently, I had a student who is so much like Happyday.

Me: Hello, Eun Su!

Eun Su: Hello, teacher!

Me: How was your day?

Eun Su: It’s happy! I always happy! [sic]

Me: (After correcting her grammar) Did anything special happen today?

Eun Su: I’m practice piano and study English and Math! [sic]

Me: (After correcting her grammar) Isn’t it tiring?

Eun Su: Tiring? (After understanding what “tiring” means…) Ah, yes! But, I’m happy!

Me: Really? Why?

Eun Su: Because life is fantastic! I see blue sky and friends and people, parents love me, so happy! [sic]