On her first day in class, Ji Jeong Ha, an exchange English teacher from South Korea, was asked by a Lewis and Clark Middle School eighth-grader if they had televisions where she comes from.
"I asked them, 'How many of you have LG or Samsung cell phones?'" she said. "About two-thirds of the class raised their hands. 'We make those,' I told them."
Ha — the students call her Jenny — is one of 28 Korean teachers visiting Billings School District 2 as part of an exchange program with South Korea's Ministry of Education. The goal is to immerse the teachers in American culture to help them better learn English.
"You guys speak so fast," Ha said with a laugh.
Ha comes from Guang Ju where she teaches middle school English. She arrived in the U.S. in August, and she and her 27 counterparts joined real college English classes in Powell and Cody, Wyo.
The comment section is, um, interesting, too:
"Do you have TV's in South Korea?"
"Um...as a matter of fact, we do you. Better, ones than you have here in the US, and we manufacture them ourselves. Our broadband speed is four times faster than your tiny little backwater of a town has as well. Also, based on the underlying cultural ignorance made apparent by your ill-informed question, it's safe to assume that us South Koreans have a far better educational system too. Sorry kid, the truth hurts. South Korea is looking at the US from its rear-view mirror. We have passed you by."