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Popular Textbook Character Sick of Tidal Wave Comments

By Patrick Carle

Korea-   A popular character in a government-sanctioned Elementary School English textbook is fed up with ‘tidal wave comments’ and wants people to stop.

Happy-go-lucky kid or future psycho killer?

Nami, family name unknown, is a recurring character in English textbooks used in public elementary schools throughout the Republic of Korea.

Although a bit shy and quite a Tomboy, she has always been on the brink of popularity.  Her former best friend, Ann, liked her because she was nice to everyone, even dumb Joon. 

Ever since the horrific and tragic tidal wave struck, however, students have been teasing Nami by screaming, “Look out!  Here comes Tsunami!” and jumping up onto their chairs and desks whenever she comes into the classroom.  This usually results in an unstoppable flood of tears and unstoppable flailing fists from Nami.

Mrs. Smith had this to say about Nami, “Last year, when I was her 5th grade teacher, our school had a festival in Chapter 11, which included performances by various student activity clubs.  Thank Goodness the ocarina ensemble has been permanently disbanded.  Anyhoo, Nami’s group put on a taekwondo exhibition.  All of the kids were pretty good, except stupid Joon, but when little Nami came out, we all kind of chuckled.  I mean, she’s so little and the board was obviously way too high for her.

She's jumping and kicking

“We all knew she wouldn’t be able to do it, but it was still pretty funny when she completely whiffed and fell right on her butt.  Most kids would have run home crying to Mommy but Nami didn’t.  She picked herself up, dusted herself off, and tried again.” 

In the video, it looks like she nearly tore the Master’s face off with her kick- the board was obliterated and everyone started chanting, “Na-mi! Na-mi! Na-mi!”

 Mrs. Smith continued to say that everyone was impressed and after that Nami’s popularity soared and she became much more confident.

 Mrs. Smith, who was also Nami’s teacher this year for 6th grade, added that Nami continued to flourish throughout the year.  “That’s why I’m a little surprised that she’s taking the tidal wave jokes so hard,” Mrs. Smith explained, “I just hope that this doesn’t follow her to Dae Han Middle School- that’s where she’s going.”

  It is not yet known if Mrs. Smith will also be promoted to Dae Han Middle School.

 Thomas Swanson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, told us that excessive teasing “can be damaging to those who are more vulnerable and at risk for other problems. Obviously teasing can have an extremely negative impact on children who are less well equipped physically, socially, or emotionally to ride it out.”

 He specified that Nami was in “grave danger” of turning into a “psycho killer” if proper steps are not taken immediately.

 Nami threatened, “All the kids should just leave me alone before I taekwondo their asses- especially that idiot Joon!”

January 16, 2005