Heat Stroke

Humans are warm-blooded, maintaining a near-constant body temperature. Thermoregulation is an important aspect of human homeostasis …. High temperatures pose serious stresses for the human body, placing it in great danger of injury or even death. In order to deal with these climatic conditions, humans have developed physiologic and cultural modes of adaptation. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

I would like state for the record that Korea has not made any physiologic or cultural adaptations. They are a people willing to accept discomfort.

But I am an American.

So I do not accept discomfort.

So I am on the brink of a sweaty, dehydrated breakdown.

Have you ever gone to the zoo during the summer? Have you ever checked out the polar bears while you were there? Know how depressing and crabby they look because they’re very obviously in the wrong climate? I am that crabby polar bear.

Heat makes you do crazy things

This is one of those horrible times when your spoiled middle class  American-ness gets thrown in your face. “Pardon me sir, but your country is not chilled enough for me to properly enjoy my champagne and caviar and money.  See to it tout suite, my good man.” What can I say? I have led a comfortable, dry existence prior to this, and I would like to continue on that less-sweaty path.

Like any developed nation worth its salt, everywhere is air conditioned in Korea. (Please do not get on my back about the environmental ramifications of this. I will tear off the widest part of you and use it to fan myself. I AMHOT.) But somehow, the Republic of Korea has not deemed June worthy of turning on said AC. That means my bus, full of unwashed high school boys, smells like unwashed high school boys.  Coffee shops are stuffy, ATM bank alcoves are nearly unbearable, going outside in the damp, jungley heat will make you pray for death.

I was willing to overlook this heat intolerance as a problem limited to my foreignness. I simply not used to it and do not understand, like I didn’t understand wearing coats indoors during the winter.

But today, drowning in my own useless sweat, my classes of NATIVE KOREAN CHILDREN did nothing but bleat the two relevant words they know: teacher, hot, teacher, hot, hot, hot, HOT, HOTT, TEACHERRRRR.

So much unnecessary suffering.

9 responses to “Heat Stroke

  1. You forgot the other word they all know: AIRCOOOOON TEACHER AIRCON TEACHER AIRCON AIRCON TEACHER!!

    One kid stomped into the room and right over to the (currently non-functioning) airconditioner control panel and starting fucking around with it. I said “Hey, stop it. Go sit down” and got the absolute dirtiest look I have gotten in some time. Kid could give subway ajumma a run for their money.

  2. What is the temperature up there around Seoul ways? It’s still a pleasant 74F down here Busan ways. (hence I still have not turned on our apartment ac)

  3. I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m feeling pissy because I’m miserably hot and sweaty, or if I’d feel this way otherwise, but I actually asked a couple of my students if they thought I was stupid when like 10 of them in a row walked in and immediately tried pushing the button 15 times. I was like, do you think *I* don’t know how to push a button???!?!

  4. I have started to get creative with the clothes that I wear to school. My goal: get as close to naked as possible.

  5. I let my kids wander over to the AC controls and press away furtively, as the machine will not work until the school has magically decided it is summer.

    I know use the fans as seasonal discipline. If they act like jerks, the fans go off.

    • I’m irrationally angry when my students come in and demand the air to be turned on. First, do they think I’m slow and don’t know to turn it on? Second, do they think I’m immune to temperature change and am just sweating my balls off for the fun of it? Third, when they come in day after day saying “TURN ON AIRCON” it leads me to believe for a second that maybe JUST maybe the aircon CAN be turned on and no one told me. False hope. Fourth, since the aircon is never actually available, are they so stupid to believe that English room is some sort of sanctuary separate from the that doesn’t follow the rules of the rest of the school? Do they think this is the principal’s office?!
      So basically, I want to slap every kid that comes and says AIRCON to me.

      Maybe it’s not so irrational.

  6. It’s freaking hot out here!!! Hey. What’s your favorite summertime food?

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