"Other Hagwons are asking their teachers to avoid Itaewon and Hongdae in Seoul, or to avoid consorting with other disease-ridden foreigners during their free time, or to put themselves under home quarantine, even if they haven't been in contact with anyone who's been out of country for months... however, my Hagwon recently sent a letter to all our foreign teachers asking them to take some special measures which will give us a competitive advantage, I believe, when mothers are trying to find the least disease-ridden native-English teachers to teach their children."
Asked to give some background, Mr. Chang surprised Dokdo Is Ours by claiming he was inspired by an online viral video:
"When I saw Tay Zonday move away from the mic to inhale during this brilliant performance full of deep, meaningful lyrics, I was inspired to require my teachers to refrain from exhaling while teaching their students."
Dokdo Is Ours shook his intrepid head. "Excuse me?"
"Well, when they exhale, dirty foreigners risk spreading disease to Koreans, no matter HOW much kimchi they eat. However, by asking my teachers to either stick their heads out the windows or the classroom door whenever they inhale, they will not infect any of our little precious sunbeams."
"Won't that make teaching difficult, as teachers must exhale when they talk?"
"The letter asks them to shout through closed classroom doors when they must speak to students."
"Are there any other requirements you've asked for?"
"Well, rather than just using alcohol-based disinfectants between classes, I've asked teachers to actually sanitize their hands by burning rubbing alcohol on their hands during each break between classes.
"It looks frightening at first, but it's not really harmful: alcohol burns very cool. Also, if teachers don't want to cooperate with the 'no exhaling' rule, I've added a new item to the dress code."
"This new, mandatory item will be required of all foreign teachers at my hagwon. These are great: they're way cheaper than biohazard suits!"
"No mothers will worry about sending their kids to my school."
"Are these requirements applicable to your Korean staff, too?"
"Of course not. They're Koreans: their affection for our students and their special DNA will prevent them from transmitting their diseases to other Koreans."
Chang has a few other requirements for his foreign teachers, and between the lot of them, he is confident that not a single student will be lost to swine flu, or to swine flu paranoia.
"All teachers will burn all their clothes and buy new ones, shave their heads, burn their passports, eat only Korean food."
And if they feel sick, will they be required to stay home?
"Of course not. This is Korea. You have to understand, this is a small school. We don't have extra staff to fill in. Please understand our country's working culture."
Dokdo Is Ours is happy to report that Hagwon teachers and event organizers are all pitching in to help control the diseased foreign teacher threat: in order to prevent the spread of the disease, under executive orders, the