Sometimes I forget what it’s like to be a preteen obsessed with a pop group. Then I go to work, and I am sorely, sorely reminded. The two big things here are Big Bang (like *NSYNC) and Wondergirls, the latter being a Making-the-Bandesque group of five underage and barely legal girls. The Wondergirls perform songs such as “So Hot,” which has a mix of Korean and English lyrics. Here’s a sampling:

“Why did my mom give birth to me like this?
My life is sooo tiring

I’m so hot
I’m hella pretty
I’m so fine
I’m too attractive
I’m so cool
I’m really charasmatic
I’m so so so hot hot”

Anyway, that’s the stuff Korean girls go ga-ga over.  Many of the girls who come here know not only all the lyrics, but the dance to every song.

I arrived a week after the Wondergirls released their latest hit, “Nobody.”  But it isn’t just the kids who are absolutely obsessed with this song.  Nearly four months after its release, “I want nobody, nobody but you” can be heard up and down the streets of Seoul, coming from the subway, cosmetic shops and cell phone stores alike.  The song is everywhere.

Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

That’s what Heather and I decided to do a couple weeks back.  After work one night, we went back to her apartment and searched Youtube for a good tutorial video.  We found the most flexible, rhythmic Asian man in the world and went straight to work.  We’ve now performed the dance on several occasions, most notably at SEV’s talent shows.  Since we have our winter camp kids here for 10 days instead of the usual five or six, the schedulers added in some extra evening activities for them, talent show being one of them.  Teachers are encouraged to perform, and I don’t have enough self-respect left not to make a fool of myself in front of 200 cheering kids, so it was a perfect fit.

What you are about to see is video from the most recent talent show.  We donned wigs (though mine was slowly falling off until I gave up with it and tossed it on the ground) and pumped up the crowd, so much so that during graduation the next day, when “Nobody” came on the loudspeakers, the kids all crowded around Heather and I as we again made fools of ourselves.

Some other clips from the talent show:

I don’t really know what was going on in this one.  The kid was drinking a lot of different things from the vending machine.  After last night’s sojufest, I remain unimpressed.

Here’s the second clip.  I apologize in advance because it’s a little jumpy, but that’s only because I had a cute little girl named Katie giving me a massage.  She somehow manages to find me at random points throughout the day to give me head, neck, shoulder and hand massages.

Can't I take her back to America with me?

Can't I take her back to America with me?

Actually looks really bad, but she was giving me a hand massage.  "Teacher, give hand!! Now!"

Actually looks really bad, but she was giving me a hand massage. "Teacher, give hand!! Now!"

Finally, I’d like to take a brief moment to apologize to my parents, who shelled out thousands of dollars over the course of the past 20 years to send me to dance lessons and performing arts camp.  As you can tell from my “Nobody” video, every last dime was wasted.